Identification of M. Bovis on new properties

Beef + Lamb New Zealand is working closely with the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) on its response to Mycoplasma bovis following the announcement four new properties have tested positive for the disease.
Wednesday, 13 December 2017

One of the latest infected properties is in the Hastings district; the other three are within a farming enterprise in Winton. MPI strongly suspects another property near Ashburton is also infected.

Beef + Lamb New Zealand (B+LNZ) Chief Executive Sam McIvor says this development is extremely disappointing, and the organisation’s thoughts are with the affected farmers in these regions.

He’s encouraging all beef farmers and rural contractors to help protect their farms and businesses by:

  • following the Mycoplasma bovis guidance available on the MPI website
  • keeping an eye out for unusual symptoms in animals and reporting these to your vet
  • ensuring all farm records and NAIT records for stock you buy, sell or move are accurate and complete.

There is also a range of information on hygiene measures and other resources available on the MPI website, www.mpi.govt.nz/protection-and-response/responding/alerts/mycoplasma-bovis/

Mycoplasma bovis often hides within an animal, lying dormant and not revealing itself for weeks or months. Some cattle may be infected and never show signs of the disease.

“Early indications are that all the properties have links with the Van Leeuwen Dairy Group (VLDG) through cattle movements,” says Mr McIvor.

“All the movements MPI has been tracing are prior to 21 July, when the disease was first detected and notified to MPI.”

He says the Hastings and Winton properties were now under a Restricted Place Notice under the Biosecurity Act.

“This effectively places them in quarantine lockdown - restricting the movement of animals and other risk goods on and off the farm.”

The suspect property is under voluntary movement controls until their status is confirmed.

Mr McIvor says the depopulation programme on infected Van Leeuwen properties has proceeded as planned and was on track to be completed before Christmas. To date, over 3,500 animals have been culled.

MPI was also continuing with extensive testing and tracing work. So far, the MPI lab has completed over 55,000 tests and its investigators have followed up 250 properties around the country. MPI has tested multiple times, using multiple kinds of tests. Sometimes, testing organ tissue from animals at slaughter was required to confirm the disease – as was the case with the Napier property. 

“We know this is a difficult time for rural communities where the farms are located, and we wish to see all available support and compensation provided to those affected.

“We urge anyone with concerns to get in touch with B+LNZ.”

Farmers can also find out what to look out for by going to: https://www.mpi.govt.nz/dmsdocument/20894-poster-of-mycoplasma-bovis-wha...

Media Release 12/12/17

Beef + Lamb New Zealand (B+LNZ) is concerned about the latest identification of Mycoplasma bovis.

Sam McIvor, chief executive of Beef + Lamb NZ, said: “The announcement of further infected properties in the Hastings region, in Winton, Southland, along with a further suspected property near Ashburton, is extremely disappointing.

“Our thoughts are with the affected farmers in these regions. We’re encouraging farmers and rural contractors to follow MPI’s recommendations on how to protect their farms, to keep an eye out for symptoms in herds, and to ensure all farm records and National Animal Identification and Tracing (NAIT) records for stock they buy, sell or move are accurate and complete.

“We know this is a difficult time for rural communities where the farms are located, and we wish to see all available support provided to those affected. We urge anyone with concerns to get in touch with B+LNZ or MPI.”

For more information please contact Sam Halstead 027 474 6065.