Farm Advice: Buying stock? Reduce the risk

By: Nita Harding, DairyNZ’s technical policy advisor

How can you minimise the​​ risks of introducing new diseases or parasites when bringing stock into your farm ‘bubble’ from another farm ‘bubble’? DairyNZ explains.

DairyNZ has advice on purchasing stock and preparing stock for transport online

You can reduce this risk by reducing the number of animals you bring in, reducing the number of times you move new stock onto the farm, and most importantly, assessing the health and NAIT status of incoming stock.

If you don’t know, ask

Taking a bit of time to ask a few questions before confirming a purchase or lease agreement could save you a lot of time and money later on. The key pieces of information you need to ask about are: 

  • the movement history of the animals
  • what vaccinations and other treatments the animals have had
  • their incidence of any diseases or conditions, such as lameness

Be prepared

​​Where you already have a management plan in place for a particular disease – for example, bovine viral diarrhoea (BVD) or leptospirosis – find out if the new animals are of equivalent health status to your own animals.

If not, and you still want to bring the animals on-farm, then plan for treatments, testing or vaccinations for the new animals, before mixing them with the herd.

Questions checklist

The questions to ask a vendor will depend on the age and class of stock and what you intend to do with the animals.

To help with this process, we’ve recently developed a checklist for pre-purchase enquiries online at 

On the move

Also remember that it’s important to check the animals are fit to be transported to the farm. If they’re travelling a long way, they need to be prepared for the journey. You can find out more about preparing stock for transport at

When the animals arrive on-farm, keep them separate from other stock for seven days, and keep a close eye on them for signs of illness. If you have any concerns about their health, call your veterinarian.

Key points

Animals coming onto your property, even if they’re your own animals returning, may introduce a new disease or parasite to your farm.

  • You can find out about the health status of incoming animals prior to their arrival by using DairyNZ’s pre-purchase checklist at
  • Seek advice from your veterinarian if you have any concerns about animal health on your farm.   

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