Mycoplasma bovis – update 7 August 2017

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Telephone: 029 894 0328

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) continues to build the picture of where the cattle disease Mycoplasma bovis is present, to contain it and eradicate if possible.

Response Incident Controller Eve Pleydell says good progress has been made over the weekend.

"Our laboratory teams were working at the weekend to continue testing the thousands of milk and blood samples from Van Leeuwen Dairy Group (VLDG) farms and neighbouring properties. To date 2,610 samples have been received.

There have been no further confirmed positive test results and the situation remains at 2 positive affected farms, both in the VLDG.

The first test results from 7 of the VLDG farms have come back as negative for Mycoplasma bovis.

"This is good news, but due to the difficulties of diagnosing this disease, 2 further rounds of testing will be required on these farms before they can be declared free of the disease" Dr Pleydell says. "We expect testing to take 2 to 3 months.

"The disease doesn't always show symptoms so we need to take 3 sets of samples 3 to 4 weeks apart, and possibly further sampling depending on those results".

Dr Pleydell says it is also important that we find out if the disease is already occurring in other parts of the country. To do this MPI is working with regional veterinary laboratories, Massey University and animal industry bodies to collect and analyse samples, including milk from cows that have mastitis, discard milk and routine bulk milk samples. The first samples from the regional laboratories will be arriving at MPI's Animal Health Laboratory this week.

Current status:
  • 16 farms from the van Leeuwen group placed under Restricted Place Notices under the Biosecurity Act.
  • All 16 farms sampled and tested (2 properties confirmed positive, 7 properties negative, results pending for remaining 7 properties).
  • There are 62 total surrounding (contiguous) properties. MPI is testing all that have cattle on them. Samples have been collected from 21 contiguous properties, first results from 9 of these have all been negative, meaning there have been no suspect positive neighbouring properties identified so far.
  • 2610 samples received, and 342 samples processed to date by the lab.
  • On average, the testing process takes up to 7 days from taking the sample on-farm, to getting back to the farmer with the results.
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