Begin with Healthy Animals

To minimize the incidence of disease, it is important that only healthy animals are introduced into the herd. This begins at the time of purchase. Producers should buy only from reputable sources to minimize the chance of buying diseased animals. If animals are purchased at an auction, one can usually expect problems. New purchases should be quarantined for at least 30 days. This allows any diseases that are lingering to express themselves; provides time for new animals to adapt before being exposed to new herd mates; and gives time for the owner to deworm, administer vaccinations, etc., according to his/her established herd health protocol. Depending on the type of operation, testing for any of several disease entities may be advisable. A producer's quarantine protocol along with other procedures to minimize the risk of introducing diseases into the herd should be listed in the farm's biosecurity plan. See the "Biosecurity for Meat Goat Producers" chapter for more information on potential threats and recommended biosecurity plan components.

If animals are moved across state lines, a certificate of veterinary inspection (health paper) is required. This is a common procedure and should not be difficult to obtain. State requirements vary. To view your state's requirements log on to http://www.aphis.usda.gov/vs/sregs.

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