Wednesday, 08 July 2020 10:12

Reduce the risks while buying stock

Written by  Nita Harding, DairyNZ technical policy advisor
Nita Harding. Nita Harding.

How can you minimise the risks of introducing new diseases or parasites when bringing stock into your farm ‘bubble’ from another one?

DairyNZ technical policy advisor Nita Harding explains.

You can reduce this risk by reducing the number of animals that you bring in, reducing the number of times that you move new stock onto the farm, and most importantly, assessing the health and NAIT status of incoming stock.

If you don’t know – ask. 

Taking a bit of time to ask a few questions before confirming a purchase or lease agreement could save you a lot of time and money later on. The key pieces of information you need to ask about are: 

• the movement history of the animals.

• what vaccinations and other treatments the animals have had.

• their incidence of any diseases or conditions such as lameness.

Be prepared

Where you already have a management plan in place for a particular disease – for example, bovine viral diarrhoea (BVD) or leptospirosis – find out if the new animals are of equivalent health status to your own animals.

If not, and you still want to bring the animals on-farm, then plan for treatments, testing or vaccinations for the new animals, before mixing them with the herd.

Questions checklist

The questions to ask a vendor will depend on the age and class of stock, and what you intend to do with the animals.

To help with this process, please have a look at the pre-purchase checklist we recently developed (see sidebar).

On the move

Also remember that it’s important to check the animals are fit to be transported to the farm. If they’re travelling a long way, they need to be prepared for the journey. Find out more about transporting stock.

When the animals arrive on-farm, keep them separate from other stock for seven days, and keep a close eye on them for signs of illness. If you have any concerns about their health, call your veterinarian.

Remember that it’s important to check the animals are fit to be transported to the farm.

Protecting your herd

Biosecurity is about reducing the risk of diseases, weeds or pests entering, spreading or leaving your farm. Below are simple steps you can take to help protect your farm, business and animals.

New stock

Disease status of new stock is considered carefully before animals are bought or moved.

Ask questions about animal health, TB status, vaccinations, disease and treatment history.

Visitors

Visitors arrive with clean equipment, clothing and footwear and disinfect upon arrival.

Provide a scrubbing brush and water and a disinfectant spray or footbath for visitors.

Fencing

Boundary fences are secure and prevent nose-to-nose contact with neighbouring stock.

Avoid grazing boundary paddocks when neighbour’s cows are grazing the adjacent paddock, or create double fencing or outrigger fences.

Calves

Young calves are given special protection.

Only allow essential people into the calf shed. Have a separate set of farm clothing and boots to use around calves. Clean these regularly.

Weeds

Potential weeds and pasture pests are identified and prevented.

Check with your regional council and the agpest website for advice and information. Check that feed sourced from off-farm doesn’t contain seeds of weeds new to your farm.

Pests

Animal pests are controlled.

Keep areas around buildings free from clutter and long grass.

Store feed securely.

Signage

Biosecurity signs are clearly visible and easy to follow.

Include the name and contact phone number of the farm owner/manager to make it easy for visitors to contact the right person.

More like this

Being a good boss during calving

Despite it being a busy time, being a good boss during calving is absolutely achievable, says DairyNZ’s People Team leader Jane Muir.

Prime conditions for mating

You've worked hard to get your cows in great condition for calving. Next, it’s time to make sure they stay on track for mating.

Sustainability stars pick up awards

Ten kiwi dairy farmers who have shown exceptional care for the environment have been recognised with a DairyNZ sustainability and stewardship award.

Featured

Miraka unhappy with rushed DIRA changes

Miraka chief executive, Richard Wyeth says the company was disappointed at the way the Dairy Industry Restructuring Act Bill (DIRA) was rushed through Parliament recently.

 

Limited feed puts ewes at risk

Severe feed shortages in parts of the country mean many ewes are on a nutritional knife-edge heading into lambing and could be at risk of developing metabolic disorders.

National

$10 payout!

A small but select group of Fonterra farmers are on the cusp of setting a new milk payout record.

The migrant workers dilemma

Dairy farmers want more Kiwi workers, but they also want relaxed immigration restrictions. So, what's the problem?

Producing milk, the Miraka way

The goal of Māori-owned dairy company Miraka, near Taupo, is to become the most sustainable dairy company in the world.

Machinery & Products

Landpower invests in cow central

One of Australasia’s largest, privately-owned farm machinery distributors, Landpower is building a new $10 million complex adjacent to Hamilton Airport.

Maize moisture in a moment

With forage maize playing such an important part of the New Zealand fodder supply chain, a useful hand-held moisture measuring…

» The RNG Weather Report

» Latest Print Issues Online

Milking It

A ticking timebomb?

There could be another dairy health scare brewing in China and this one starts in our backyard.

Please explain

Does anyone in the Government understand the essential role St John Ambulance has in our society?

» Connect with Dairy News

» eNewsletter

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter