Mycoplasma bovis: ‘Encouraging signs’, but still hard for certain regions

Rural Exchange 24/11/2018

The Ministry for Primary Industries says there are “encouraging signs” in its goal to eradicate Mycoplasma bovis in New Zealand, but that’s not to say some regions aren’t seriously hurting.

M bovis director of response Geoff Gwyn says only a few additional properties have been tested positive with the cattle disease to date, and they were discovered in MPI’s first round of bulk milk testing.

But he emphasised that bulk milk testing is only “one part of the jigsaw puzzle” and is not intended to pinpoint every farm that’s affected.

“We may have some encouraging national signs, but that doesn’t minimise the impacts its having on some specific regional locations.”

The cattle disease has been confirmed on 33 properties so far, with 24 in the South Island and nine in the North Island. Canterbury has seen the most infections by far, with 48 percent of infections nationwide concentrated in the region.

“The reality is there are some farmers that have had a rough ride,” Mr Gwyn told RadioLIVE.

MPI is expected to complete its latest round of bulk milk testing in early December, which could indicate whether it’s on track for the goal of eradication.

In the meantime, Mr Gwyn reminds farmers that “the nature of the disease” is uncertain. Between multiple tests and test types, he says MPI is trying its best to provide certainty in an “uncertain environment”.

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.