NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — A Tennessee State veterinarian is advising cattle buyers on the best practices and legal requirements before purchasing animals from outside of the state.

Animals from outside of Tennessee, by law, must have current a health certificate issued within 30 days of movement and official identification. Buyers and shippers must follow the state and federal import rules and regulations.

“Emerging diseases and parasites have been introduced into Tennessee this year through infected livestock purchased without the buyer seeing the animals in advance,” State Veterinarian Dr. Samantha Beaty said. “I recommend buyers visualize 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.“

According to a news release, if it isn’t possible for the buyer to see the animal or animals in person before the transaction. The buyer should consider having a licensed veterinarian conduct an examination.

The veterinarian also recommends having livestock checked to detect disease before spending money or introducing sick animals into the 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. The division collaborates with other health-related stakeholders, academic institutions, and extension services to support One Health, an initiative to improve health for people and animals.