How eradication will work for infected farms

What you need to know if your herd is confirmed to be infected with Mycoplasma bovis.

If your farm is positive for Mycoplasma bovis

The confirmation of infection means controls on your farm would be strengthened from a Notice of Direction to a Restricted Place Notice and all cattle will be culled – at a time that works for you.

Your own case manager (known as an Incident Control Point (ICP) Manager) would work with you on plans for your farm. All your cattle will be culled according to the plan we agree with you.

Your farm would be cleaned and disinfected (by a contractor and at our expense) and then it would need to be kept free of cattle for 60 days. You could then restock your farm and we would assist in planning that.

Financial compensation is available for culled cattle and partial payments can be made within a fortnight of any cull.

Culling of infected herds

All cattle on infected farms and future infected farms, plus some high-risk farms under movement controls, will need to be culled.

This means about 126,000 cattle from about 190 farms will need to be culled – most within 1 to 2 years. This is in addition to the current cull underway. The timing of any cull will be worked through with individual farmers to minimise impacts on production.

This means, for example, if a farmer wants to milk through to a particular date, finish off beef animals or achieve some other farming or personal objective, then we will work with that.

We will continue to trace all potentially affected cows. We'll also test and cull herds with infected animals in them. This tracing, testing, and culling will continue until ongoing regular surveillance finds no remaining evidence of Mycoplasma bovis.

Mycoplasma bovis can’t be reliably confirmed in all individual animals. Seemingly healthy animals can still carry the infection and infect others. Clinical signs only appear when an animal is under stress of some sort.

So – if we confirm the disease in one animal, for disease control purposes we have to assume the whole herd is infected and cull them all.

Movement controls

All infected properties will be placed under movement controls called a Restricted Place Notice. A Restricted Place (or “RP”) is a farm where there is either confirmed disease or a very high suspicion of disease. Cattle and other risk goods (equipment, vehicles, farm equipment etc) cannot be moved on or off the farm without permission from MPI.

Compensation

Compensation is available for anyone who has verifiable losses as a result of directions they are given by MPI under the Biosecurity Act to manage Mycoplasma bovis.

Farmers that are directed to have animals culled or their farm operations restricted under movement controls will be eligible for compensation. In particular, farmers whose animals are being culled will receive an initial payment for the value of culled stock within 2 weeks of a completed claim being lodged.

Support for farmers

We understand that this will be painful for farmers who are affected, and we are committed to looking after those who have Mycoplasma bovis on their farms.

If you are a farmer and need support, help is available through your industry group representative, individual response case manager, or the Rural Support Trust.

Industry representatives:

We’re calling on rural communities to support each other, especially affected farmers and those that appear to be finding it hard. If you have any concerns about someone you know, contact the Rural Support Trust or other community support services.

Looking after yourself – fact sheet [PDF, 1.2 MB]

Who to contact

If you have any questions about Mycoplasma bovis

Farmers can also contact their industry body

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