Mycoplasma bovis – update 31 July 2017

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Telephone: 029 894 0328

A second dairy farm in South Canterbury that was already under biosecurity controls has today been confirmed as positive for the cattle disease Mycoplasma bovis.

This farm is linked to the initial property under investigation and is part of the 16 farm Van Leeuwen Dairy Group.  The detection was not unexpected given close connections between the 2 farms.

MPI is today continuing sampling and testing for the disease on all farms in the enterprise, as well as neighbouring farms.

All Van Leeuwen farms are under legal controls restricting the movement of risk goods on and off the properties. Cattle can only move between the other farms in the enterprise – no movement of stock is allowed to farms outside the group.

The Ministry is satisfied that these containment measures are sufficient to control any spread of the disease from the properties involved.

Other farmers in the area can be assured that the most likely way for a farm outside the Van Leeuwen Group to become infected would be the introduction of animals from the group.  With all the farms in lock down, this cannot happen.

MPI is tracing earlier movements of animals from the Van Leeuwen Dairy Group farms to and from properties outside the group and is conducting sampling and testing for the disease on these farms as a matter of priority. 

The Ministry is also prioritising surveillance testing on farms neighbouring the Van Leeuwen Dairy Group farms to ascertain if the disease has previously spread in the local area. Mycoplasma bovis spreads between cows in close contact. This disease is not something that spreads across long distances on the wind or in water.

Most other countries in the world, including countries in Europe, and the US, UK, and Canada live with Mycoplasma bovis in their cattle. This is a cattle disease and there are no food safety or human disease concerns associated with it.

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