The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) has this week placed 2 additional properties in the Waimate district under movement controls following suspicious test results for the bacterial cattle disease Mycoplasma bovis.
The properties are under the controls, known as a Restricted Place Notice, as a precaution only. The notice restricts the movement of animals and other risk goods on and off the farms until testing is completed.
MPI's Director of Response, Geoff Gwyn says the 2 farms are suspect positives at this stage and further confirmatory tests are required. Results are expected later in the week.
The properties were identified through MPI's very comprehensive surveillance programme which has now tested more than 40,000 samples of milk, blood and swabs.
"This is exactly why we are doing this testing work – to know where the disease is in order to contain and remove it," Mr Gwyn says.
"We do not believe the new suspect properties represent a game changer. These farms are in the same geographical area to all known infected properties and neighbour Van Leeuwen Dairy Group farms.
"Our investigators are still building a picture of how animals on the farms could have been infected, if indeed they are, and what stock movements may have taken place onto the farms."
Mycoplasma bovis is spread through close and prolonged contact between animals and through the direct movement of stock.
"The discovery of the new potentially positive properties has not changed our position on this. We do not believe there is a significant risk of disease spread across fences," Mr Gwyn says.