Tanki online

Mycoplasma bovis: Fourth case at the Mid-Canterbury farm

A fourth property in the Wakanui area of ​​Mid-Canterbury has been confirmed to have Mycoplasma bovis, according to Biosecurity NZ.

The property is inside a red zone imposed for properties near the infected ANZCO feedlot in Ashburton, which raises around 10,000 cattle.

The Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI) announced last week that it would cull cattle at the feedlot and eight other farms in the high-risk area surrounding it, in a bid to eradicate the disease.

Slaughter will begin on the feedlot in mid-October and nearby farms are to be “depopulated” by mid-January, MPI said.

In May, the government announced that after working to rid New Zealand of the disease, the feedlot was the only remaining infected property.

But since then three more properties have been confirmed to be infected.

Mr bovis program manager Simon Andrew said the latest property was in the high-risk area around the feedlot, the area fenced off for animals to be slaughtered.

“We are also carrying out tests on another property in the area which should be confirmed infected in the coming weeks.

“At this stage of the program, after the hard work of everyone and the 272 herders who had to cull their cattle, we are intensifying our efforts to find a possible infection.

“It is crucial that we protect the investment made to date. We currently have four properties confirmed in Mid-Canterbury, the only infected area in the country. This compares to around 40 nationwide at the height of M. bovis .”

Andrew said bulk milk testing has found nothing unexpected over the past few months.

“August 2022 is on track to be the first August since 2018 with no confirmed infection detected via bulk tank milk monitoring.”

A controlled area notice (CAN) imposed around the ANZCO feedlot will come into effect on October 13.

“While the area is already under strict control and farms with known or suspected infection are subject to movement restrictions, the CAN provides an extra layer of protection for farmers across the border by restricting animal movements. out of the area,” Andrew said.

“We are stepping up our efforts to get to the end of the disease sooner, which means farmers can expect to see more testing and more investigation in areas where there is residual risk, such as all pathways. possible transmissions.

“It is also more important than ever that farmers continue to maintain accurate NAIT records, as well as details of on-farm activities. Animal movement tracking remains our best tool for quickly tracking the movements of animals that are infected or at risk of infection.

The bacterium M. bovis affects cows but has no impact on human health. The disease can also enter the udder and cows can transmit it to calves through their milk.

In calves it can cause pneumonia and is difficult to treat, while in adult animals it can cause mastitis and arthritis.

M. bovis was first found on a farm in south Canterbury in 2017, but was spreading on farms before that.

MPI thought it might have arrived in the country at the end of 2015 or 2016.