M bovis update: Second round of milk testing to begin

Rural Exchange 21/07/2018

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) is preparing to carry out the second round of nationwide milk testing.

Every New Zealand dairy farm will have samples taken shortly after the start of calving when cows are most likely to be shedding the bacterium of Mycoplasma bovis.

Each farm will be tested six times over a 12-week period.

Farmers won't need to make any changes. The testing will be a part of their usual on-tanker test process.

Director of Response for MPI Geoff Gwyn says this is the perfect time of the year to test because it is when the animals are most stressed.

"This is probably our best opportunity to see exactly where it [M. bovis] is in New Zealand."

Mr Gwyn says that despite the initial inconsistency of NAIT recordings, farmers have finally seen the importance of tagging their animals properly.

He also commends the bravery of farmers who contact MPI with suspicions of M. bovis on their properties.

"We've had some farmers come forward. I can totally understand that is a difficult decision for a farmer," he told RadioLIVE's Rural Exchange.

MPI now also have an easily-accessible spreadsheet on their website which lists animals that MPI are trying to track down, and those that are restricted.

Watch the full interview with Geoff Gwyn above.

Rural Exchange with Hamish McKay, Sarah Perriam and Richard Loe, 5-7am Saturday and Sunday on RadioLIVE with Carter’s Tyre Service. Click here for all the ways to watch and listen.