What happens when a farm is confirmed with Mycoplasma bovis

Rural Exchange 01/09/2018

While the Government maintains its position to eradicate cattle disease Mycoplasma bovis, concerned farmers are still seeking clarity on what happens if their property is found infected.

Charlotte Austin, operations manager at the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI), joined RadioLIVE’s Rural Exchange to help clarify what happens on the ground once a property is deemed infected. 

Infected properties are dealt with on a case-by-case basis, emphasises Ms Austin, depending on the type of farm and how a farmer wishes to proceed with the decontamination process.

For example, if a farm wants to depopulate their herd straight away, Ms Austin says it’s a pretty quick process.

Finishing farms could potentially finish out their season because their stock will be sent to slaughter anyway, while a dairy farm will require a more extensive approach.

“It is a lot more complicated when you have animals mixing together,” Ms Austin told RadioLIVE.

The time frame for recovering a property is also highly dependent on the farm and property owners, explains Ms Austin.

The process would take some 80 days from start to finish in a best case scenario.

“From the last animal leaving the property, there is a 60-day stand down period to ensure that the cleaning and disinfection is appropriate to have killed the Mycoplasma bovis.”

But above all, Ms Austin reiterates that farmers should not feel guilty if their farm becomes infected.

“MPI really understands that this has landed in people’s laps through no fault of their own.”

Watch the full interview with Charlotte Austin 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.