April 23, 2018
Biosecurity guidelines for NZ dairy graziers released in wake of Mp.bovis outbreak
The one-page information sheet contains farm-management recommendations that will help farmers protect their stock from contracting or spreading Mp.bovis and other diseases, including creating two-metre buffer zones along all fence-lines to prevent cattle contact.
According to the guidelines released by Beef + Lamb New Zealand and DairyNZ, yards can be a source of contamination through fluid from the noses and mouths of cattle. Well-maintained yards are easier to keep clean and dry and are less of a contamination risk.
The guidelines suggest getting herd owners to do tasks such as tagging, vaccinating and drenching at home to reduce use of the grazier's yards.
They state that the disinfection of surfaces is less important than preventing direct cattle contact. A delay between the arrival of different groups of cattle will allow sunshine and wind to do much of the work.
What to do with unwell animals
The guidelines suggest graziers work with the herd owners to reach an agreement on how to deal with skinny, lame and unwell animals.
While the risk of Mp.bovis transmission by machinery at grazing is low, the recommendations include parking farm bikes outside of paddocks and avoid leaving tractors and wagons sitting in paddocks. This will stop curious cattle licking their surfaces.
For the same reason, feeders and troughs should be kept with the same herd for the entire grazing season.
Since visitors, gumboots, dogs and vehicles are potential sources of many diseases and pests, the guidelines include recommendations on how to manage this risk, such as having a clean-on and clean-off policy for all visitors.
Read guidelines here.