This season with M.Bovis in New Zealand, many farmers have questions concerning the stock they are receiving onto their farms. To address these concerns, we have developed an information page which is sent with every Animal Declaration Form and includes the following content:
Every calf has received the following vaccinations, two Salvexin B vaccinations for salmonella (4 – 6 weeks apart), two 10 in 1 vaccinations (4 – 6 weeks apart), one Pilliguard vaccination (for Pinkeye).
Each group of calves will have received at least one, sometimes two, pour-on worm drenches for the control of internal and external parasites. The date of the latest drench is on the ASD Form.
To reduce the risk of bringing M.Bovis onto our farm through the purchasing of livestock, we have bought the bulk of our calves direct from dairy farmers in the area surrounding Tirau. We have also bought some calves from the saleyards (Tirau, Cambridge, Frankton and Reperoa). All stock going to the saleyards or being sold to us had to have declarations that they were coming from M.Bovis free herds.
Another risk of bringing M.Bovis onto our farm was through milk. To eliminate this risk, we have treated all milk coming onto our farm for calf feeding, with Citric Acid. This lowers the pH and kills any potential M.Bovis bacterium. All our milk has been treated with Citric Acid to drop the pH to 4.5 or below. This was on recommendation from Nita Harding at Dairy NZ. We originally did some trial work with Nita and a Fonterra Rep around how to make this a simple task on-farm and also to check that the calves would still drink the milk. This trial work is summarized on the DairyNZ website under ‘Citric Acid Treatment of Milk’. It has been hugely successful in our system and widely distributed amongst the farming community as a cost effective, simple way to eliminate the risk of giving calves M.Bovis through milk feeding.