Contagious cattle disease spreads to another NZ farm

It has been confirmed that the contagious, bacterial cattle disease Mycoplasma bovis has been detected on another farm in New Zealand.

This latest farm – which brings the total number of infected properties to 14 – to test positive for the disease is located in the Ashburton area of the South Island, according to the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI).

The ministry’s response incident controller David Yard says milk sampling carried out by the dairy industry just before Christmas revealed a suspected positive result and MPI’s Animal Health Laboratory testing has just confirmed this.

He said: “The affected farm and an associated property have been under controls since Christmas Eve as a precautionary measure.

No animals or other risk goods such as used farm equipment have been allowed on or off the property during this time and these controls stand.

There has been no sign of any illness in any of the approximately 600 animals on the property, according to the MPI.

Yard explained that – as a result of the latest detection – the MPI is now tracing animal movements on and off the farm in order to determine if there are links to other affected properties.

The MPI is also expected to carry out checks and testing on some 30 other farms that have had some association with the affected property.

Farmers in the area who have had some connection with the affected property will be contacted and those who do not hear from us in the next couple of weeks should consider they are under no increased risk from this most recent detection.

But farmers with any concerns or questions are asked to contact the ministry, Yard said.

It has also been confirmed that the MPI is continuing tests on another farm in the Ashburton area that had previously returned inconclusive results.

As yet, this farm is not regarded as positive – although it is under control just in case, the MPI added.