Topics:
Animal Health

Controlling pests and managing animal waste crucial for biosecurity

The discovery of Mycoplasma bovis in this country is a timely reminder for farmers to implement on-farm biosecurity practices to protect their businesses and livelihoods – and those of their neighbours. The third of this four part-series about on-farm biosecurity looks at pest control and the management of carcass and animal waste.
Thursday, 8 March 2018

It can be difficult, if not impossible, to prevent invasive weeds and wild animals from entering your farm, yet these can cause production losses and spread disease.

To minimise their impact, regularly monitor and control vermin, wild animals and weeds and consider working alongside your neighbours to coordinate control efforts. This will significantly increase the efficacy of pest and weed management.

Carcases and animal waste 

Dead animals and waste are a high-risk source for some diseases. The life-cycle of many pests and diseases involves them being shed in dung and urine and being ingested by other animals via contaminated pasture.

To minimise pasture contamination, prevent animals congregating (and urinating and defaecating) within a small area by providing multiple feeding and watering facilities.

Don’t bring young stock – which are more vulnerable to disease – onto paddocks vacated by older animals (which are more disease resistant and potential carriers). Allow at least seven days between grazings by different stock classes.

Dead stock should be removed from paddocks immediately and disposed of in an allocated area well away from yards, paddocks and sheds. Secure stock disposal areas to prevent access by livestock, feral animals and wildlife.

Ensure all water supplies are safe from airborne or leaching-related contamination so construct and locate disposal areas well away from water-ways or water sources.

For more information about Mycoplasma bovis, and to view the resources available to help you develop an on-farm biosecurity plan, visit: https://beeflambnz.com/news-views/mycoplasma-bovis