The New Zealand Rural Land Company (NZL) says it has entered conditional agreements to buy assets from the Van Leeuwen Group (VGL), which went into receivership last week.
Two of those farms have tested positive to date. There are 62 properties boarding the VLDG farms Ministry of Primary Industries will be testing all that have cattle on them, MPI director of response Geoff Gwyn says.
“We have confirmed results for nine of the bordering farms to date, with all being negative for Mycoplasma bovis,” he says.
“This is good news, but further testing on these farms will be required before they can be declared free of the disease and we expect testing to take several months. Sample testing is a complex process which takes time, and it’s important we take that time to get accurate results. The disease doesn’t always present symptoms so we need to take two sets of samples one month apart, and possibly a third depending on those results.”
Gwyn says farmers are keen to get answers as soon as possible.
“Our labs teams are working quickly and thoroughly seven days a week, and we have increased staff numbers to carry out the work. On average, the process takes up to 7 days from taking the sample on-farm, to getting back to the farmer with the results.
“MPI vets, scientists and on the ground staff are working hard on the response and we are getting great support from industry organisations. We remain focused on eradicating this disease from New Zealand,” says Gwyn.
Two weeks into the response, MPI says its lab has processed around 1,200 samples.