One further farm confirmed positive with Mycoplasma bovis infection
The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) confirms that 1 of 2 Waimate district farms placed under restrictions last week has tested positive for Mycoplasma bovis infection.
Testing is ongoing on the second property, which is under precautionary restrictions due to its association with the new infected farm.
In addition to these 2 farms, the Ministry has today placed a further farm in the area under the same controls while further testing is underway to determine if it too is infected.
MPI's Incident Controller of the Mycoplasma bovis response, David Yard says all 3 farms are in the same district and a couple of them neighbour Van Leeuwen Dairy Group properties.
"All these farms are under Restricted Place Notices, controlling the movement of animals and other risk goods on and off the farms.
"We still have a lot of work to do ascertaining the source of infection at the confirmed infected property and building a picture of animal movements between all 3 farms and possible other farms."
Mycoplasma bovis is spread through close contact between animals and through the direct movement of cattle between properties.
Mr Yard says the key to protecting farms is practicing good on-farm biosecurity measures.
"There is a lot of thorough information on MPI's website about keeping equipment clean, buffer fencing property boundaries and about safely moving animals between properties."
All 3 farms were identified through the Ministry's comprehensive, science-based surveillance and tracing programme, which has now tested more than 40,000 samples of milk, blood and swabs.
"Our programme has been developed by MPI's skilled scientists and veterinarians, along with advice from Massey University's EpiCentre - the largest veterinary epidemiology training and research centre in Australasia.
"The surveillance is the most appropriate for the situation we are dealing with and we're leaving no stone unturned in our bid to understand where this disease is present and manage it."
Mr Yard says he wants to assure farmers that if Mycoplasma bovis is present, it will be found.
MPI's experienced response team is now planning for how the new infected place will be managed and continuing testing of samples from the 2 other properties.
"This is a very stressful time for everyone involved, and I'd like to assure farmers that MPI is working hard to on their behalf to locate and contain this disease," Mr Yard says.
Farmers who have concerns about someone doing it tough can call:
- the Mycoplasma bovis Farmer Support Line on 027 44 49 380
- their local Rural Support Trust on 0800 78 72 54 (0800 RURAL HELP).
Who to contact
If you have questions for MPI, call 0800 00 83 33 or email MBovis2017_Liaison@mpi.govt.nz
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