Introducing New Sheep & Goats

Stock Sense » Resources and Factsheets » Introducing New Sheep & Goats

Prevention Is Better Than A Cure

Producers may introduce new animals onto their properties for several reasons, including restocking, replacement rams or animals for fattening. These new animals may come from a range of sources such as saleyards, online sales or private sales.

Each time you introduce new animals onto your property there is a risk of introducing pests or diseases, and this risk needs to be minimised or eliminated if possible. The time and effort put into biosecurity when buying new stock greatly outweighs the cost of managing it later, and is much more efficient than having to treat a whole flock for a pest or disease which has spread from introduced animals.

Main Diseases & Pests of Concern

The main concerns when buying sheep or goats, are to prevent the introduction of:


Keep new arrivals in a designated quarantine area away from other animals for at least 4 weeks. This will give you time to observe them and ensure they don’t show signs of disease or parasites, and get them up to date with their vaccinations and internal and external parasite treatments. A vet examination can be done if necessary.

Rams or bucks may only be on site for a few months during the breeding season, but it is still best to quarantine them for a 4-week period before letting them mix with the rest of the herd. This may mean a change to management procedures, such as bringing the ram or buck onto the property a month earlier than needed, to allow for quarantine time.

Ensure the quarantine area is kept clean and vermin-free if possible. Have designated equipment for use in the quarantine area only and minimise the number of staff who enter the quarantine area, maintaining a high level of hygiene.

New Stock Owners Checklist

               Have a Property Identification Code (PIC)

               Become accredited with the Livestock Production Assurance (LPA) program. This is voluntary, but most meat processors require livestock to be sourced from LPA accredited properties. If you are not LPA accredited, you will not be able to access LPA National Vendor Declarations (NVDs).

               Order your NVDs.

               Create a National Livestock Identification System (NLIS) database account.

               Purchase NLIS tags through your local rural merchandiser for animals born on your property.

               Check each animal has a tag before buying or selling animals.

               Make sure you complete an NVD before selling or ask for an NVD from the vendor.

               Complete transfer on NLIS database – this is only your responsibility if you are the buyer.

Take Home Messages

Only introduce animals of known health status

  • Always ask for an animal health statement and National Vendor Declaration
  • Have a designated quarantine area where new arrivals can be isolated for a period of up to 4 weeks
  • Monitor new animals while in quarantine and seek veterinary advice
  • Record animal movements on the NLIS database

Click here to download the PDF version.

For further information, please contact the VFF Livestock Group on 1300 882 833 or by email [email protected]

Disclaimer: All care is taken in the preparation of the information and published materials produced by the Victorian Farmers Federation (VFF) including but not limited to errors, defects or omissions in the information provided. VFF does not make any representations or give any warranties about the accuracy, reliability, completeness, or suitability for any particular purpose in the preparation of the information and published materials. This publication is intended for general information purposes only and does not constitute financial, legal, investment, production, or marketing advice. To the maximum extent permitted by law, the VFF and all persons acting on behalf of the VFF in preparing documents, are excluded from all and any liability for any loss or damage of any kind arising in relation to this publication including any reliance on the information contained herein.

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