M. bovis programme is transitioning to OSPRI
From 1 November 2023, the MPI Mycoplasma bovis (M. bovis) Eradication Programme is contracting out the long-term surveillance phase of its operations to disease management agency OSPRI.
This change is the start of transitioning the whole programme to a management agency, as it moves towards its goal of eradication of M. bovis from New Zealand by 2028. As the estimated 10-year eradication plan passes its half-way mark, the move to OSPRI signals the next logical step – ending the active management of M. bovis and transitioning to its monitoring and response.
If this ambitious target is met, New Zealand will be the first country in the world to successfully eradicate the disease.
The surveillance phase of M. bovis will be managed by OSPRI until the projected end of the programme in 2028. OSPRI has a proven track record managing the TBfree programme and runs the National Animal Identification and Tracing (NAIT) service. Taking on the M. bovis Eradication Programme will not impact these existing programmes.
OSPRI will manage the day-to-day running of the M. bovis Eradication Programme in the surveillance phase, which will include:
- managing any active or newly-detected properties
- depopulation and site cleaning
- farmer support.
Many MPI M. bovis staff are also moving to OSPRI with the programme transition.
MPI and industry responsibilities
MPI and its partners DairyNZ and Beef + Lamb New Zealand remain accountable for the overall management and success of the programme under the current Government Industry Agreement (GIA). MPI is also retaining some aspects of the programme, including compensation and compliance.
Farmers should not be impacted by the move, and M. bovis levies will not increase.
This arrangement will remain in place until a proposed National Pest Management Plan (NPMP) comes into effect, anticipated to be in July 2024. If approved, an NPMP will provide legislative authority for a management agency to carry out the programme’s services, including enforcement.
Until this change occurs, oversight of the programme will continue to be carried out by a governance group made up of MPI, DairyNZ, and Beef + Lamb New Zealand.