Dairy Farm Biosecurity Services

Working together for better biosecurity and disease management on your farm

Biosecurity is about securing a farm business against unwanted plants and pests but here our focus is on animal diseases.

Anexa Biosecurity Services

Assessing biosecurity risk on your farm
Farm biosecurity is a hot topic and tackling this on your farm may seem daunting. Luckily even doing the basics can help prevent an unwanted disease entering your farm. Here are some tips to get you started.
Personal hygiene – anyone coming onto your farm should have clean boots and clothes/overalls. Make sure you provide clean water, bucket, scrub brush and disinfectant. Foot baths are an excellent idea but the disinfectant needs to be replaced daily. Remember that disinfection only works after the excess mud and muck has been removed.
Purchasing new stock – you should know the vaccination status and animal health history, including any prior testing for diseases such as BVD, for all stock prior to purchase and if that cannot be provided by the seller or their agent then avoid “buying in a problem” and do not purchase that stock!
Grazing stock off-farm – when your youngstock are away they are at risk of picking up diseases and then bringing them back home. Prevention is the key here, so make sure they have all their required vaccinations and drenches prior to leaving your farm and ensure that the grazer completes any follow up vaccinations and drenches that are required.
Boundary fences – Make sure you avoid nose-to-nose contact between your stock and the stock on your neighbour’s farm as this is a great way for diseases to be spread farm to farm. Double fencing your boundary (at least 2 meters apart) or hedges are good ways to prevent nose-to-nose contact.
Farm equipment – vehicles, equipment and farm machinery can potentially carry diseases or unwanted weeds and pests. These should be clean prior to arrival on your farm, particularly if they are going beyond the tanker track. If they aren’t clean, then provide an area where they can be washed down and ideally disinfected but ensure this water doesn’t go into your waterways or waste water irrigation system as this can spread unwanted weeds and diseases.
Good farming biosecurity practices will help lessen your risk of unwanted diseases, pests and weeds coming onto your farm.  The team at Anexa can help you assess the risk on your farm and put a plan in place to help you.
Vaccinations, disease prevention and management

Using vaccines to prevent disease is the most easily recognisable example of the old adage “prevention is better than cure”. Outbreaks of disease are not only time consuming and costly but they can be very distressing for both farmers and their animals. Luckily, there are many vaccinations available for dairy cattle to prevent a range of different diseases. For an individualised plan for your farm, contact your Anexa vet today.

Sampling and testing

The key to effective disease prevention and treatment is knowing what we are dealing with. Taking the correct samples (blood, milk, swabs etc.) is the first step. Samples can be either tested at our own Anexa lab (in our Morrinsville clinic) or sent to an external lab depending on what testing is appropriate. Lab results give you the confidence to know you are on the right track to tackle whatever issues you may be facing on you farm.

Compliance support

As the world becomes more curious about where their food comes from, the need for a paper trail grows. Anexa Vets can help you meet your compliance requirements and work with you to overcome any shortfalls. 

Quarantine planning on your farm

Whenever new animals are brought onto your property you should have a plan in place for being able to quarantine for a sufficient period to reduce the risk of introducing new disease to your farm.

Lepto: Healthy and safety

 Vaccinations – Controlling leptospirosis by vaccination has historically been the primary way of preventing lepto in humans.

However vaccination only minimises the risk and there are other things which increase the risk of you contracting human lepto that we need to be sure you are aware of. Rising rates of human infection have made it clear that further steps are needed to reduce the risk of people becoming infected. Basic hygiene and care when handling animals are essential, and reducing cattle contact with potential sources of infection is also helpful. Most importantly, every person on-farm needs to be regularly educated about the severity of leptospirosis, and how to reduce their own risk of infection

Other risk factors – Pigs and rodents can be a source of infection for both cattle and humans. Ideally, pigs should not be on dairy farms. If pigs are kept they should be vaccinated (at 6 monthly intervals) and should come from leptospirosis free piggeries, or be treated with antibiotics on arrival. Rodent control, especially around feed, will reduce risk. Effluent and waterways are also risks. Contact with these should be reduced by effective fencing.

To ensure you and your staff’s risk of contracting Lepto is minimal we recommend completing a Leptospirosis Risk Management Appraisal with your Anexa vet.

Mycoplasma Bovis information

Mycoplasma bovis is a bacterial disease that typically affects both adult dairy cattle and calves. It does not infect humans and poses no risk to food safety. Mycoplasma was first detected in a small number of New Zealand herds on the South Island in July 2017. It is important that you are aware of the biosecurity risks to minimise the chances of your herd contracting the disease – contact your vet for further information.

Foot and Mouth Disease - raising awareness

Foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) is a highly contagious and infectious viral disease that affects cloven-hooved (two-toed) animals such as cows, sheep, goats and pigs. It is an animal health disease with no significant health impact on humans. There have been no cases in New Zealand yet, but FMD is the largest biosecurity threat for New Zealand. An outbreak would have a significant impact on animals, farmers, primary industries, and the New Zealand economy.

Signs to look out for in stock: FMD can spread quickly, even before infected animals show any symptoms of the disease. FMD typically starts as a fever, followed by the appearance of blisters, mainly in the mouth and on the feet. It rarely kills adult animals, but as recovery is often slow and infected animals spread the disease rapidly, quarantine (isolating animals away from others) combined with the slaughter of affected stock is often the only realistic means of control.

Report suspected FMD symptoms immediately to your vet or the MPI pest and disease hotline: 0800 80 99 66
(Tip: Save this number in your phone now in case of an outbreak.)

For further information about FMD or for biosecurity planning advice please talk with your vet or visit the MPI here 

Biosecurity info sheets & how-to guides

It’s often not only what you do, but also how you do it that’s important,  that’s why it’s always a good idea to have a guide handy. Check out our info sheets below and ensure you are taking the best approach.

Information sheets


The risk of Leptospirosis information flyer.pdf


Prevent lepto poster.pdf


Risk factors to human infection with lepto poster.pdf


Mycoplasma-a quick guide for dairy farmers.pdf


Bovine viral disease (BVD).pdf


Bovine Digital Dermatitis (BDD).pdf


Hand hygiene - why does it matter.pdf


Theileria - the tick disease.pdf


Treatment of scouring calves.pdf


Foot and mouth disease - raising awareness.pdf



Mycoplasma - introduction video


5 Mycoplasma Bovis biosecurity vet tips for calf rearing


BVD calf ear notching - what, why, how. A quick convo

Check out the latest advice from our vet team

More BVD on farm this season

We have had more BVD issues identified in the bulk tank samples this year than we have for a few years. When things don’t change much on a monitor sample result, it's easy to get complacent, but we have had numerous examples this season where the bulk milk monitor...

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