Mycoplasma bovis - update 27 July 2017

Media contact: MPI media team
Telephone: 029 894 0328

Investigations continue in MPI's response to the detection of the new to New Zealand cattle disease Mycoplasma bovis on a farm in South Canterbury.

The situation remains that the bacterial disease has been confirmed on 1 property.

MPI has this affected property under legal controls restricting the movement of risk goods such as stock and equipment off the farm.

Ministry Director Response, Geoff Gwyn, says MPI is satisfied that these controls contain the disease and manage the risk as it's currently understood.

"Right now our strategy is to contain the disease and determine the size of the problem through surveillance and testing. Once we have defined the problem, we can then look at management options which could include area movement controls, selective culling of some stock or long term management measures.

"These decisions have not been made and won't be until we can make a fully informed judgement."

MPI is not naming the actual property or farmer involved.

"We are legally obliged to maintain the privacy of the farmer concerned, unless there is a biosecurity need to do otherwise and this is not necessary right now.

"We are actively tracing all risk materials on and off the affected property over the past 6 months and contacting anyone who may need to be aware of the situation. People who may have received potential risk goods from the affected farm will be contacted urgently by us. This is what MPI does in an animal disease situation."

MPI has established an office in Oamaru to base its field staff. Currently Ministry veterinarians are working with local vets to assess stock and manage the situation.

All farmers are encouraged to undertake their standard animal health practices, including talking to their vet if they see signs of ill health in stock. This is particularly important if farmers find animals with mastitis that does not respond to treatment, arthritis, pneumonia and late-term abortion.

Mycoplasma bovis does not infect humans and presents no food safety risk. There is no concern about consuming milk and milk products.

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