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Bio Security Precautions

The action you take on your farm is vital in stopping the introduction and spread of animal diseases in South Africa. Precautionary measures should be undertaken to prevent diseases being imported into a livestock herd. Disease may not always be apparent especially in the early stages and there are many ways disease can be introduced and spread.

1. Direct livestock purchases (and own animals shared that are returning)

The following should be verified before importing new animals into the herd :

  • How long animals resided at purchase/ previous location
  • Any recent disease outbreaks in that location
  • Brand marks for ownership
  • Vaccination programme followed
  • Local prevalent external parasites , and the routinely practiced control programme
  • Control programme against transmittable diseases
  • Dates and tests for reproductive diseases both male and female
  • Dates and tests for zoonotic diseases
  • Verify the above with own veterinarian

2. Purchases from sales or speculators

  • Purchase only in areas not in close proximity to scheduled areas
  • Have all Auctioneers announce at sales and out of hand that they have verified where livestock ownership (where sourced).
  • Visually inspect livestock before purchasing for ;
    • brand marks
    • parasite infestation

3. Transport to farm

  • Use reputable livestock transporters that do not operate in scheduled areas
  • Disinfect trucks as far as possible when sending to fetch livestock.
  • Truck to follow shortest uninterrupted route to destination
  • Truck to take shortest route on farm to handling facilities
  • Do not allow truck personnel to get in contact with farm herd

4. Arrival on farm

  • Offloaded livestock to be visually evaluated for any unnatural conditions
  • Isolate from own herd and shared facilities for at least 21 days
  • Process new arrivals within 24 hrs after arrival ie , unique ID tag brand , dip ,dose ,vaccinate
  • Inspect routinely

5. Feed purchases

  • Ensure bales of hay / feed are sourced from areas not bordering on scheduled areas
  • Purchase feed only from reputable dealers
  • Avoid buying feed in second hand bags

6. Visitors

  • Do not allow any strangers or their vehicles amongst the livestock herds

7. Staff

  • Do not allow them to eat in feed store or near to handling facilities
  • Do not allow staff family or friends visiting amongst livestock
  • Supply sufficient ablution facilities
  • Medicate routinely for tape worm
  • Keep record of staff livestock on property
  • Treat staff livestock with own health programmes

Compiled by Dave Ford