20131202 BS Purchasing Doc Final web version

Please refer to the disclaimer on the last page regarding information in this leaflet.

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Purchased cattle are high risk The information in this leaflet can be used to assist in formulating a Bioexclusion Plan for your farm. Each farm should have its own risk assessment which is then used to develop its own action plan. 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. However, 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.

This leaflet 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.

Commonly forgotten risks

Pregnant Cattle: In this document ‘purchased cattle’ refers to animals that are not born in your own herd, but are introduced after birth. When a pregnant animal is purchased, the unborn calf should also be considered to be a ‘purchased animal’. Returning animals: Animals that are home-bred but that leave and return (e.g. a bull on loan, animals coming back from an out-farm, a heifer rearing unit, an agricultural show or a mart, returning animals from contract- rearing farms) may also pose a risk of introducing disease to your herd. Steps 5 and 6 below may also be relevant to these ‘returning animals’ depending on individual circumstances.

Bioexclusion Plan Take steps to reduce risk

There is a high risk of buying in animals that are carrying diseases when purchasing animals, and thus it is worth having a specific Bioexclusion Plan before any purchase is made. Figure 1 illustrates the seven steps to follow in order to prepare an appropriate and practical Bioexclusion plan.

Bioexclusion Plan

STEP 1 STEP 2 STEP 3 STEP 4 STEP 5 STEP 6 STEP 7

Plan Ahead Buy in as few ANIMALS as possible Buy from as few HERDS as possible Select Lower Risk HERDS Select Lower Risk ANIMALS Reduce TRANSPORT risks Implement a QUARANTINE period

Figure 1: Seven Step Bioexclusion Plan

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