For on-farm biosecurity to be successful, it is important everyone involved in the farming business understands why the strategies put in place are important.
Rather than viewing biosecurity measures as a necessary evil or box-ticking exercise, make biosecurity an indicator of your operation’s quality – something you and your staff take pride in.
Ensure all staff are clear about their role in implementing biosecurity practices and keeping the farm as healthy and productive as possible. This includes identifying and managing sick or injured livestock and knowing what to do in in the event of suspected emergency such as a disease outbreak. This means everyone knowing which vet practice to contact in the first instance.
Having a clear set of protocols written down and readily available – pinned on the woolshed or workshop wall or in a book kept in farm vehicles – will ensure there is no confusion around following established biosecurity and response guidelines.
DairyNZ has developed a biosecurity wof or checklist which can be easily adapted and applied to all farming enterprises. https://www.dairynz.co.nz/media/5788853/biosecurity-wof-a4-brochure.pdf
In light of the recent Mycoplasma bovis outbreak, Beef + Lamb New Zealand has employed a full-time biosecurity advisor to support farmers as part of the organisation’s response to the disease.
Paul McCauley has a wealth of knowledge about drystock farm systems and technology transfer and is the main point of contact for farmers about M. Bovis and farm biosecurity. He will work closely with MPI regional response teams on issues affecting sheep and beef farmers. Paul can be contacted at: Paul.firstname.lastname@example.org.
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