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State vet advises buyers to beware on livestock purchases

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Any purchase sight-unseen carries risk, and that’s especially true for livestock. Tennessee’s State Veterinarian is advising livestock buyers of best practices and legal requirements before purchasing animals for import into Tennessee.

“Emerging diseases and parasites have been introduced into Tennessee this year through infected livestock purchased without buyers seeing the animals in advance,” State Veterinarian Dr. Samantha Beaty said. “I recommend buyers take a look at animals in person before money changes hands to help minimize the risk of moving disease onto their farm or into their established herd. I discourage purchase of animals sight unseen from an online source where delivery is included. If it seems too good to be true, it likely is.“

All animals moving into Tennessee are required by law to have a current health certificate issued within 30 days of movement and official identification where applicable by law. Buyers and shippers must adhere to all other state and federal import rules and regulations. These rules can be accessed at www.tnsosfiles.com.

If it isn’t possible for a buyer to see the animal or animals in person before purchase, the buyer should consider having a licensed vet conduct an examination. Having livestock checked by a vet is the best way to detect disease before you spend money or introduce sick animals into your herd.

The Tennessee Department of Agriculture’s Animal Health Division is responsible for promoting animal health in Tennessee. The state veterinarian’s office seeks to prevent the spread of disease through import and movement requirements, livestock traceability, disaster mitigation, and the services of the C.E. Kord Animal Health Diagnostic Laboratory. 

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