A new herd addition such as breeding stock, can introduce many infectious disease agents. These organisms could cause congenital malformations, abortions, respiratory disease and/or diarrhea. In addition, diseases with prolonged incubation times can be introduced to the herd with healthy animals. Semen and embryos are also of concern for spread of infectious disease organisms. Diseases like bovine viral diarrhea (BVD) and porcine reproductive respiratory syndrome (PRRS) can be introduced with semen if not tested thoroughly and properly.
To introduce new animals to herd without increasing risk of disease, consider:
- Buying semen, embryos and sexually intact male animals from suppliers with good disease and pest control programs for infectious disease. Ask about disease certification, control and testing programs.
- Physically inspect all animals yourself before introducing to herd.
- Test for diseases of concern.
- Quarantine for at least 3 weeks before mixing with other animals from your herd.
- Vaccinate twice before the stress of transport.
- When buying dairy females, culture milk for contagious organisms.