Purchased cattle are high risk, AHI

Purchasing stock and reducing disease risks advise booklet for farmers, advisors and vets has been launched by Animal Health Ireland this morning.

The guide is part of a series of leaflets on various aspects of biosecurity including understanding infectious diseases, keeping infectious diseases out of your herd and purchasing stock advice.

In the booklet, AHI noted purchased cattle are high risk.

Keeping a closed herd by never buying in, borrowing or renting any outside cattle is one of the best ways to keep diseases out of your farm and is strongly recommended, it said.

However, AHI noted there are times when, as part of herd management, it is not possible to keep a closed herd.

“Bringing cattle into a herd carries a high risk of introducing infectious disease. This document outlines practical options to help reduce the risk of introducing diseases to your herd. Even when all of the following steps are taken, the risk of bringing in disease cannot be eliminated entirely.”

Purchasing cattle will remain one of the most likely ways that you will introduce disease into your farm, the AHI has warned.

The booklet itself refers primarily to purchasing of cattle within Ireland.

“If considering purchasing cattle from other countries, you must liaise with your DVO about specific importation requirements. Cattle must always be purchased within the TB testing rules and regulations. Herd registers must be kept up to date,” AHI said.

The full document is available on its website, animalhealthireland.ie.

Friesian weanling heifers. Photo O’Gorman Photography