Management of the introduction of animals in goat farms.
The risk of introducing a pathogen into a goat herd when new animals are bought is high whatever the origin of the animals. Mycoplasmosis is certainly the most emblematic hazard given its serious consequences. The means exist to reduce the risk, for example testing animals and vaccination however, they are unsatisfactory and do not prevent all the possible causes of infection. This should encourage auto-renewal of the herd by artificial insemination, which would avoid buying billy-goats which is currently a common practice. In other cases anticipating the purchase of animals may be possible by choosing young goats from a breeding unit with a known and acceptable health status based on investigations of both the seller and the buyer. The veterinary practitioner and livestock health protection groups must promote 'good practice' in order to help farmers individually but also to collectively prevent the spread of disease.