Positive step in M. bovis programme with progress towards a national pest management plan

// Pests and Diseases

DairyNZ and Beef + Lamb New Zealand (B+LNZ) welcome the Government’s confirmed commitment to implementing a National Pest Management Plan (NPMP) for Mycoplasma bovis (M. bovis).

beef dairy
joint B+LNZ and DairyNZ logo banner

DairyNZ and B+LNZ are partners in the programme alongside the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI). The plan is designed to safeguard results achieved to date, and add resilience to the country’s biosecurity system through OSPRI’s management of the M. bovis eradication programme.

Until now, the eradication programme has been the responsibility of the Government Industry Agreement (GIA) partners, MPI, DairyNZ and B+LNZ, but with the response shifting to a focus on surveillance before eradication is confirmed, it’s appropriate that full responsibility transfers to OSPRI.

“The spirit of collaboration is a key part of New Zealand’s response to eradicate M. bovis from New Zealand and it’s great to see the success of this approach affirmed,” says DairyNZ chair Jim van der Poel.

“Via the NPMP, the partners will continue to support work to protect our national dairy and beef herds. It will ensure that OSPRI, which manages the M. bovis programme – alongside the TB programme and the National Animal Identification Tracing (NAIT) system – has the tools needed to continue to work towards the goal of eradication.”

Farmers will see little practical change on the ground under the new plan but there are opportunities for efficiencies in managing bovine TB, M. bovis and the NAIT system in the same entity. The M. bovis programme is now six years into a 10-year eradication plan with currently no active, confirmed properties.

B+LNZ chair Kate Acland chair says: “The effective response to managing the M. bovis challenge hasn’t been easy but the Government’s announcement today marks another significant milestone in the programme.

“Farmers affected by the eradication programme have experienced significant disruption to their business and made sacrifices – we owe it to them to finish the job. The programme partners are committed to supporting OSPRI in finding any remaining infection to protect the wider sector.”

Jim says the programme to eradicate M. bovis took a large financial and emotional toll on farmers but the cost of letting it spread would have been much higher.

“While we may still see a few more cases, we are now approaching the surveillance phase and costs have reduced, thanks to a huge combined effort.”

The National Pest Management Plan, approved by the Coalition Government, was proposed by DairyNZ, B+LNZ and MPI and will come into effect by the end of 2024.

OSPRI has been carrying out M. bovis disease control and on-farm operations under contract since November 2023, with expertise moving from MPI to OSPRI at this time. 


  1. Once the NPMP comes into effect, the Biosecurity (Response – Milksolids) Levy that dairy farmers pay will be replaced with an NPMP levy. Details on the rate of this levy will be consulted on in the coming weeks with the intention to keep it at the same or similar rate to the recently reduced 0.8 cents per kilogram of milksolids.
  2. Once the NPMP comes into effect, the beef industry will fund the NPMP using a new levy, which will be lower than the current beef biosecurity levy.
  3. The M. bovis eradication programme has cost around $722 million to date. It was estimated the cost of letting it spread would have been $1.3 billion in lost productivity in the first 10 years alone.



Ali Tocker (DairyNZ Senior Media Specialist)

Sam Halstead (Beef + Lamb New Zealand)