Biosecurity on the Angora Goat farm
By Dr Mackie Hobson

Wednesday, 12th May 2021

BIOSECURITY ON YOUR FARM

Introducing new Angora goats onto the farm.

Some farmers are often unaware of the risk that a lack of biosecurity poses to their Angora flocks and some of these risks often go undetected. It is not just about the big diseases such as Foot and Mouth and the potential threat of PPR.

The implementation of a biosecurity protocol is not difficult. Some biosecurity threats are often beyond our control but there are areas where we could be more proactive.

Certain diseases have longer incubation periods that make their control difficult but diseases with shorter incubation periods may be prevented from being introduced during the first 2-3 weeks after stock is introduced.

Goats (livestock) bought via a livestock agent have certain criteria that agent must meet in terms of their biosecurity protocols as stipulated in the  STAATSKOERANT, 13 NOVEMBER 2020 No. 43900 205, 135 Agricultural Produce Agents Act (12/1992): Biosecurity Rules for Livestock Agents 43900

No biosecurity protocol is foolproof but it is about reducing your risk of introducing disease onto your farm. The protocol on your farm must not only be for animals being introduced but include vehicles and people entering your farm. You don’t want visitors parking near your animal handling facilities or in areas where your stock may graze!

 

For any new animals:

  1. It is important to know where your goats are coming from and always insist on the Original Owner’s Health Attestation (declaration) by a veterinarian of the farm of origin and the specific animals are identified and are declared to be free of disease.

Try buying goats that are adapted to your area and from farms you know and trust.

  1. If possible ensure that they have been vaccinated (especially Pulpy Kidney and Pasteurella) but preferably a Multi-Clostridium vaccine and Rift Valley Fever at least 2 weeks before arrival.
  2. Ideally ask the original owner to treat the goats for ectoparasites (ticks, lice) and deworm them before moving.
  3. Ensure your quarantine area is away from your animal handling facilities and lands on which your own livestock graze. Also, make sure that water does not drain from your quarantine area into adjacent lands or animal handling facilities
  4. Check the animals for external parasites before off-loading into your quarantine area.
  5. Do a health check to pick up signs of disease. See the website https://www.angoras.co.za/article/health-check-on-angora-goats
  6. Ideally, put them through a footbath such as formalin or chlorine dioxide and tick treatment on arrival.
  7. On arrival take a pooled faecal sample from about 5 goats (ideal 10-14 days after they were dewormed) to ensure that you are not introducing resistant worms onto your farm. If present use one of the top gun anthelmintic such as Zolix and repeat the faecal sample 10-14 days later. The vet will also check for coccidiosis.
  8. If a goat should, unfortunately, die during the incubation period make sure you get your vet to conduct a Post Mortem.
  9. After the quarantine period, try still to keep the group of animals separate from your flocks when possible for the longer incubation diseases and carrier states.

 

There are individual diseases that require specific Biosecurity measures such as Cryptosporidiosis. See website

 

What diseases should we be worried about in Angora goats?

  1. Diseases with shorter incubation periods (less than 3 weeks) potentially causing disease amongst Angora goats include:

 

Parasites both internal and external are a common introduction onto farms. Particularly now with drug resistance developing is important to avoid bringing these resistant strains onto your farm.

  • Red lice (Damalinia, Bovicola) and blue lice (linognathus)
  • Roundworms (Wireworm and brown stomach worm )

Other internal parasites such as liver and conical fluke should be evaluated if considered a risk.

 

  1. Diseases with longer ‘incubation’ periods

 

For this reason, try to keep apart from your main breeding flocks.

 

  • Causes of abortion are more difficult to detect while under quarantine. Enzootic abortion (Chlamydia) and Brusella melitensis can for example be detected by blood tests as a screening test to see if previously exposed.

See potential causes of abortion in angora goats https://www.angoras.co.za/article/abortion-in-angora-goats#276

 

 

 

 

Don’t forget the plants that can be introduced onto your farms such as ‘Boetebos’ (xanthium spinosum) and jointed cactus attached in the mohair.

Shearing teams can also introduce diseases such as corynebacterium abscess(caseous lymphadenitis), ‘sheep scab’, Crypto as examples so make sure the shearers are issued clean clothing and disinfect their shears on arrival.

The quarantine procedure does take some time and management but goes a long way to preventing the losses and frustration that comes with the introduction of disease and parasites.

Dr Mackie Hobson

 

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