One Mid Canterbury/Ashburton property is directly linked by animal movements to an infected property detected from the Programme’s August Bulk Tank Milk screening.
The second property, in Canterbury/Selwyn district, was confirmed following a detect result from the September Bulk Tank Milk screening.
These newly confirmed properties demonstrate the Programme’s National Surveillance working as it should – detecting possible cases and showing us where to look to eliminate the infection.
It’s important to note this is not an outbreak – the M. bovis Programme is actively looking for those final pockets of infected properties and fully expected to find more over spring – it’s a time there are more samples to test, animals are under stress from calving and 2018 heifers are entering the milking platform for the first time.
Nor does it appear widespread — no additional farms in the Mid Canterbury/Ashburton district other than those three dairies originally detected in August were found in September or October Bulk Tank Milk screening, giving confidence this is an isolated cluster connected by animal movements.
This is why good NAIT records are so important for everyone. They help to trace infected animals faster and stop the spread of the disease to other herds and other farms. Incomplete NAIT records make tracing infected cattle a difficult job.
The M. bovis Programme’s surveillance tools like the bulk tank milk screening programme and beef sector surveillance have been developed to not only help find any remaining infection faster, but to give us all confidence long-term that New Zealand is free from the disease
The Programme is working closely with all affected farmers, their staff and whānau to ensure things run as smoothly as possible, and that they are well-supported.