Why we are eradicating M. bovis
There are animal welfare and financial considerations. The estimated cost to industry if no action had been taken was $1.2 billion over the first 10 years, with ongoing productivity losses across the farming sector.
The bacterium is an Unwanted Organism under the Biosecurity Act 1993.
Overview of M. bovis Eradication Programme
In July 2017, M. bovis was identified by a veterinarian at a single property in South Canterbury. MPI moved to contain the disease and set up a response under the Biosecurity Act 1993. The M. bovis response is the largest incursion response ever conducted in New Zealand.
In May 2018, after consultation with industry, the New Zealand government jointly committed with DairyNZ and Beef + Lamb New Zealand to attempt to eradicate M. bovis.
MPI, DairyNZ and Beef + Lamb New Zealand entered an agreement under the Government Industry Agreement (GIA) framework, which formalised relationships and funding arrangements, and to sit as the Governance Group for the M. bovis Eradication Programme.
In April 2019, a reset of the programme was agreed to by the partners. The Governance Group oversees the performance and strategic direction of the Programme.
Mycoplasma bovis 2019 National Plan
The 3 eradication partners released a plan on 5 April 2019 to set out 3 goals for the M. bovis Eradication Programme:
- eradicate bovis
- reduce the impact of the bovis Eradication Programme on farmers, families and communities
- apply the lessons learnt to further strengthen the biosecurity system.
Mycoplasma bovis 2019 National Plan [PDF, 5.5 MB]
Programme strategy and approach
The strategy is to achieve nationwide eradication. It focuses on:
- tracing movements from affected properties to new farms
- identifying additional infected properties through a National Surveillance Programme.
Disease spread is managed by movement controls on properties that are at risk or infected. Movement controls stay in place until either:
- testing shows that the herd is not infected
- infected properties are depopulated, then cleaned and disinfected.
We consult with individual farmers on the timing for a depopulation (cull). This is to try to minimise production costs where possible. For example, we might delay culling until the end of the milking season.
Information hub and resources
The M. bovis Eradication Programme has created an information hub for farmers, veterinarians, and the wider agricultural sector to stay updated on M. bovis in New Zealand.
MPI has an online resource library that includes media releases, along with reviews and reports on M. bovis.
DairyNZ and Beef + Lamb New Zealand also have M. bovis resources.