May 17, 2023


Mycoplasma bovis detected at another farm in New Zealand



New Zealand's Ministry for Primary Industries announced that the cattle disease Mycoplasma bovis was detected on a new infected farm in Mid-Canterbury, New Zealand Herald reported.


This follows a two-week period of no infected properties, indicating a setback in the country's ongoing battle against the disease.


Simon Andrew, Director of the eradication programme, said the newly infected farm in Mid-Canterbury has clear connections to previously affected farms, particularly the Wakanui cluster.


Efforts are underway to investigate the source of infection, and plans are being made to depopulate the property in a manner that minimises disruption as much as possible.


As a result of this new case, animal movements and other potential risk events will be traced and monitored. This may lead to an increase in the number of farms under movement restrictions as authorities work to mitigate the risk of disease spread, Andrew said.


Since the initial discovery of Mycoplasma bovis in New Zealand in 2017, a total of 280 farms have been cleared of the disease. The country is currently at the halfway mark of a ten-year eradication programme, which was launched by the government five years ago.


Andrew acknowledged the progress made so far but also anticipated the likelihood of new infected farms emerging. The focus now is to identify and address the remaining pockets of infection in order to transition into a long-term surveillance program that proves the absence of Mycoplasma bovis.


The eradication efforts have come at a significant cost, with NZD 641 million (~US$400 million; NZD 1 = US$0.62) already spent out of the allocated NZD 870 million (~US$543 million) budget. Andrew highlighted the importance of farmers continuing animal tracing through the National Animal Identification and Tracing (NAIT) system, particularly during the late autumn mating season.


-      New Zealand Herald

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