News and Views

Speculation on M.Bovis origin is harmful

Federated Farmers says speculation around the cattle disease Mycoplasma Bovis and its origins is just adding more stress to worried farmers.

The disease was first detected on a South Canterbury farm by the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) in July 2016. Since then, 17 farms have been identified as having animals with mycoplasma bovis with a further 34 properties placed under restricted notice.

Federated Farmers National President Katie Milne says in the current circumstances “patience and a dose of realism” is required.

“Of course there is curiosity among farmers and the media as to how mycoplasma bovis started as it has never been detected before in New Zealand to our knowledge.

“This is a complex disease and there is a significant amount of resources going into testing and surveillance carried out by MPI and the industry,” says Katie.

The situation was still unfolding with MPI and the wider industry working hard to contain the disease. Federated Farmers otherwise is still hopeful that mycoplasma bovis can be eradicated with farmer support.

“Farmers have a role to play around traceability by ensuring NAIT tagging and recording of all cattle and deer. We advise also an on-farm disinfecting policy, buffers on boundaries and quarantine of newly introduced stock to their properties.

“This should become part of a new best practice of making your farm a fortress when it comes to biosecurity,” says Katie.

Source: Federated Farmers

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