THERE is now a new way to buy and sell livestock thanks to the internet and social media, however buyers should be aware that there are certain biosecurity risks.
Buy, swap and sell groups on sites such as Facebook, or ads on sites such as Gumtree are now a popular way to trade goods, including livestock as it is quick, efficient and simple.
But according to Livestock Biosecurity Network regional manager, Rachel Gordon, the ease in trading comes with an increased risk of unwanted pests, diseases and weeds.
“In some cases, vendors and buyers are simply unaware of their responsibilities, particularly if they are now used to trading livestock,” she said.
When buying or selling animals in this way, Ms Gordon said it is important to keep biosecurity at the forefront of your mind and to be aware of your legal obligations when keeping livestock.
“If you are buying any livestock at all, do you have a Property Identification Code (PIC) for where they will be kept?
“This is a legal requirement even if you only have one animal, such as a horse.
“If you are buying cattle, sheep or goats, are they correctly tagged with National Livestock Identification Scheme (NLIS) tags?
“Is the vendor providing you with accurate NLIS paperwork to ensure you can correctly transfer the animals from their property to yours?
“Do the NLIS numbers on the paperwork match the numbers on the ear tags in the animals’ ears?” she added.
Ms Gordon said other things to consider include the livestock’s history and asking the vendor to provide a health statement that provides additional health information in regards to pests and diseases as well as any health treatment carried out within the previous six months.
Other practical steps that should be taken include placing your new livestock in quarantine for at least 28 days, which gives you time to observe any clinical signs of disease that may not have been obvious when you purchased the animal.
“Monitor the yards and the paddock in which the animals were quarantined for new weeds germinating so you are able to remove them before they establish,” Ms Gordon said.
“These simple steps of using health statements, holding animals in yards on arrival, quarantining animals for 28 days, monitoring for disease and monitoring for weeds costs you very little in time and money, but can save you a fortune in both,” she added.
BUYERS BEWARE: Rachel Gordon, Livestock Biosecurity Network regional manager is warning those who purchase livestock online to keep biosecurity at the forefront of their minds.