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Shop locally .... for your livestock

One of the best biosecurity controls you can implement on your farm is “shop locally”.

You are more likely to understand the local issues and you will know what to avoid (weeds, diseases, drench resistance issues).  As we move further from home to source stock, the biosecurity risks increase.

Wherever possible inspect stock prior to purchase to ensure you are getting animals you consider suitable for your purposes.  Insist on a health declaration and carefully assess the disease information provided.  Health declarations are available for cattle, sheep and goats and have been adopted nationally.

National Vendor Declarations (NVDs) provide basic information about purchased stock, are an easy-to-use movement document and they do add some residue and health status information.  However on their own, they are of limited assistance to re-stockers.

If you are unsure what questions to ask sellers or what to look for on the health declaration, contact a Northern Tablelands Local Land Services Biosecurity Officer or District Vet.

When your new stock arrive, inspect them thoroughly and give an introductory drench and any vaccination they may need.

All introduced stock should be quarantined and regularly checked for as long as possible. Three weeks quarantine with at least weekly inspections is a good benchmark.  If possible, use a dedicated quarantine paddock for all introduced stock.  This makes it easier to keep an eye on any unwanted weeds which may “hitch a lift” onto your property.

If the cattle are coming from a cattle tick area in Queensland, they must be treated at an approved dipping station before they leave the tick area.  Beware of increasing resistance to many of the chemicals being used - cattle might still harbour ticks so will need to be checked on arrival.

We strongly recommend that sheep are sourced locally or from another OJD Regional Biosecurity Area and preferably from Market Assurance Plan flocks.

The Northern Tablelands is a Protected Area for footrot.  Avoid buying-in footrot by checking the footrot declaration on the sheep health statement and inspect any lame sheep closely.

To learn more about biosecurity management when buying in stock, contact Northern Tablelands LLS Biosecurity Officer, Geoff Green on 02 6770 2013 or 0427 007 185.

Media contact: Annabelle Monie on 0429 626 326 or 02 6720 8317.