M. bovis eradication ‘is still possible’ according to MPI

Rural Exchange 20/01/2018

They say rust never sleeps and it looks the same for cattle disease Mycoplasma bovis, which was confirmed on another Ashburton farm earlier this month.

This brings the total number of infected properties nationwide to 17 – ten in South Canterbury, five in Southland, one in Ashburton and one in Hawkes Bay.

David Yard, director of response for the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) joins Rural Exchange to discuss how they are planning prevention.  

“The number [of infected properties] is going up,” says Mr Yard. “And we expect the number to go up significantly.”

But Mr Yard doesn’t believe the disease is impossible to contain at this point.

We believe eradication is still quite feasible.

According to Mr Yard, the disease is spread either by the transfer of infected milk for calves or through the movement of infected animals.

“Once we discover a property is infected, in essence we put it in lockdown,” he says.  

“What we’re dealing with is retrospective movements of the disease.”

MPI and its dairy industry partners announced in January that they will extend the current Mycoplasma bovis milk testing into a national milk surveillance programme, where they will test milk samples from every dairy farm across the country.

“We are practically doing all we can to remain engaged with farming,” he says.

Watch the full interview with David Yard 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.