MPI begin second round of M. bovis milk testing

Rural Exchange 30/09/2018

Latest reports from the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) indicate that 37 farms around New Zealand have confirmed Mycoplasma bovis infections. 

At the end of August, the first infection in Northland was confirmed after it was believed the disease had been restricted below Auckland.

MPI's director of response for M. bovis Geoff Gwynn says almost all regions now have at least one infected property.

Despite the spread, Mr Gwynn says every property is connected to MPI's network - a trail of infected properties that shows the links between each one, and where they trace back to.

"The fact they're still part of the same network and we can connect them to that network is critical to understanding whether we can eradicate or not."

MPI has now performed at least one round of testing across 10,500 out of 12,000 dairy properties in New Zealand.

"To date, we've only had three positive finds. Those three are properties we were already aware of. So it's very encouraging, but a little too early to pop the champagne corks," Mr Gwynn said.

Rural Exchange co-host Richard Loe has heard from fertiliser truck drivers that some dairy farmers aren't allowing them on-farm because they don't know where the trucks have been.

Mr Gwynn agreed with this level of scrutiny.

"I think you should know everyone who comes on to your property. You should also have areas [on your farm] that are no-go zones for contractors."

Listen to the full interview with Geoff Gwynn 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.