Updates confirm Mycoplasma bovis continues spread

Updates confirm Mycoplasma bovis continues to spread

Oamaru, Cheviot, and Invercargill are the latest locations where Mycoplasma bovis has been confirmed. 

The new Ministry for Primary Industries unit Biosecurity New Zealand has taken over sending out newsletters on the bacterial cattle disease. On Friday afternoon, the 79th update gave the most recent statistics:

  • Confirmed infected properties (total/current) – 43/38.
  • Current number of properties under Restricted Place Notice – 56 (note: some RPNs have been lifted).
  • Number of traced properties – 2689 (number of properties traced from infected properties).
  • Number of samples received – 132,774.
  • Number of tests completed – 126,917.
  • Regional breakdown of infected properties (total/current):
  • Hawke’s Bay (Hastings) – 1/1.
  • Manawatu/Tararua District – (Pahiatua) 1/1.
  • Canterbury – 3/2.
  • North Canterbury – 1/1.
  • Mid-Canterbury (Ashburton) – 7/7.
  • South Canterbury/North Otago 12/11.
  • Otago (Middlemarch) 2/2.
  • Southland (Winton, Lumsden, Invercargill, Gore) – 16/13.

The Oamaru property that joined the list last week is a dairy farm, the Cheviot property is a sheep and beef farm, and the Invercargill property is a beef farm.

”Like all other cases, these three properties were linked to the original group of infected farms through animal movements,” the update said.

”It is important to remember that confirmation of new infected properties is not the result of the disease spreading. Biosecurity New Zealand finds these properties by tracking animal movements from infected or suspect farms – which, in most cases, took place before Mycoplasma bovis was known to be present in New Zealand.

Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor said in a statement on Thursday officials had told him that numbers would probably exceed their earlier modelling.

”That modelling work is continuing and we will have a clearer picture in the next couple of weeks,” he said.

”MPI is continuing an intense programme of work with farming sector groups about the next best steps in the response – including containment and phased eradication.

”Testing to date shows all infected properties are connected in some way.

”The tracing of Mycoplasma bovis is made harder by the poor use of the National Animal Tracing System [Nait].

”We could have tracked this more quickly if the system had been used properly. The previous Government’s inaction, lack of enforcement and promotion of Nait has created major issues for hunting down Mycoplasma bovis.

”We will make changes to the Nait system.”

Friday’s update said just over 8000 animals have been culled from the eight farms infected initially. A further 3000 were expected to be culled by the end of last week.

”At this time, we anticipate the majority of the culling is likely to be complete by the end of May. It may, however, not be completed on some properties until June or July as we are working to accommodate the circumstances of the individuals impacted by the cull.”

Mr O’Connor said the cull was needed to reduce spread of the disease through the national herd.

”Farmers should ensure any compensation claims they make related to Mycoplasma bovis are accurate, as it makes the process quicker. MPI and Dairy NZ have boosted the number of people working directly with farmers to assist in that process.”


Source: Rural Life

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