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.
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.
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, we’ve recently developed a checklist for pre-purchase enquiries.
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.
- Animals coming onto your property, even if they’re your own animals returning, may introduce a new disease or parasite to your farm.
- You can find out about the health status of incoming animals prior to their arrival by using DairyNZ’s pre-purchase checklist.
- Seek advice from your veterinarian if you have any concerns about animal health on your farm.