What does biosecurity mean to farmers?
Biosecurity means protecting your farm against animal and plant diseases, pest plants such as velvetleaf and yellow bristle grass; pest insects like clover root weevil; and animal pests including possums which, if infected, can spread tuberculosis.
What biosecurity actions can you take?
Develop and implement an on-farm biosecurity plan to reduce the risks of introducing or spreading pests and diseases.
Biosecurity planning and action will help protect the health of your stock and pastures, and the health and safety of your family, farm workers and farm visitors. Some diseases can be passed from animals to humans.
Good farm biosecurity agricultural practices must include:
- Preventing entry of disease and weeds onto the farm
- Isolating sick animals
- Having an effective herd health management programme in place
- Managing the herd to increase disease resilience
- Practicing good machinery, building, and animal hygiene and pest control
- Using all chemicals and veterinary medicines as prescribed
- Training people appropriately.
Main biosecurity-related programmes supported by DairyNZ
The control and eradication of bovine tuberculosis is the single largest investment of the milksolids levy. The majority of new herd infections in TB-risk areas can be traced to possums.
Find out about TB on the DairyNZ website and how TBfree New Zealand controls the disease here.
National Animal Identification and Tracing (NAIT)
The NAIT (National Animal Identification and Tracing) system links people, property and animals. NAIT provides traceability for individual animals to enhance New Zealand's ability to respond quickly if there is a biosecurity incursion such as a disease outbreak.
Find out what you as a dairy farmer need to know about NAIT here.
Johne's disease is a wasting disease which initially presents no signs, passing unnoticed in the farm system until its latter stages - by which time it has already spread to other animals in the herd.
Find out more here.
Bovine Viral Diarrhoea (BVD)
BVD is widespread in the dairy industry and can impact on milk production, cause infertility in cows and bulls, result in the birth of weaker, smaller and deformed calves, and make animals more susceptible to common infections such as scours, pneumonia and mastitis. On farm control is now possible and practical.
Find out more here.
Pasture pests cost farmers more than $600 million each year. Biocontrol is the careful selection and introduction of one or more of a pest’s natural enemies to suppress the targeted weed or pest.
DairyNZ funds biocontrol programmes to reduce pest impact to improve pasture establishment, forage yield, quality and persistence through the biocontrol of major exotic pasture-pest species throughout New Zealand.
Find out about biocontrol in the article, Nature to The Rescue: Biocontrol of Pasture Pests, here.
Leptospirosis is a disease caused by bacteria known as Leptospira. It can affect almost all mammals, and is one of the most common diseases transmitted from animals to humans in New Zealand.
Livestock become infected by contact with water or grazing pasture contaminated by urine from infected animals or through mating.
Find out more here
Improving dairy industry biosecurity
Find out about the biosecurity program aims and how this investment benefits dairy farmers here.