Monday, February 26, 2024

Canterbury dairy farm infected with M bovis

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Neighbouring farm to property found to have infection in September.
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A dairy farm in Canterbury is infected with Mycoplasma bovis, the second property in the area with the disease.

Depopulation, cleaning and disinfection and the 60-day stand-down period for both Active Confirmed Properties is expected be completed in early 2024.

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) said further infection in the tail-end of an outbreak is not uncommon and it has been previously signalled more properties could be discovered.

In September, a dairy farm in Selwyn, Canterbury was confirmed as infected with M bovis, identified by standard Bulk Tank Milk background screening. It followed several months of no infection.

The new infected farm neighbours that property and was identified following routine testing. 

MPI said initial indications suggest the strain of this infection is ST-21, the strain originally detected in 2017 and associated with most recent infections.

The source of infection for the new property is not yet known.

The property has been under movement restrictions for several weeks and these conditions have now been further strengthened.

“We are working with the farmer to mitigate any risk of disease spread by tracing animal movements on and off the farm and other risk events. This will likely see an increase in the number of farms under movement restrictions while we mitigate the risk of disease spread,” the MPI said. 

While fewer cases of infection are found each year, the MPI said it is important farmers follow good biosecurity practices and record all movements of cattle onto and off the farm. Keeping accurate and up-to-date NAIT records helps trace animals and is the best way to keep M bovis off farms.

“Alongside farmers and our industry partners Beef + Lamb NZ and DairyNZ, the programme has continued to make significant progress over 2023 and this development doesn’t change our approach,” the MPI said.

“The number of infected properties has fallen to very low levels and it is expected that in coming years the major activity of the programme will be national surveillance of New Zealand’s cattle herd.”

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