Tuesday, 09 January 2018 15:40

Cow disease spreads to Ashburton farm

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Bacterial cattle disease Mycoplasma bovis has been confirmed on a farm in Ashburton.

This takes the current number of infected properties to 14 – nine in South Canterbury, three in Southland, one in Ashburton and one in Hawkes Bay.

Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI) response incident controller David Yard says milk sampling carried out by the dairy industry just before Christmas revealed a suspected positive result; MPI’s Animal Health Laboratory testing has just confirmed this.

“The affected farm and an associated property have been under controls since Christmas Eve as a precautionary measure. No animals or other risk goods such as used farm equipment have been allowed on or off the property during this time and these controls stand,” Yard says.

There has been no sign of any illness in any of the approximately 600 animals on the property.

Yard says that as a result of the new find, MPI is now tracing animal movements on and off the farm to determine if there are links to other affected properties. MPI will now carry out checks and testing on some 30 other farms that have had some association with the new affected property.

“Farmers in the area who have had some connection with the affected property will be contacted and those who do not hear from us in the next couple of weeks should consider they are under no increased risk from this most recent detection. However, if they have concerns or questions, they can contact us on 0800 00 83 33 or by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..”

MPI is also continuing tests on another Ashburton area farm that had previously returned inconclusive results. As yet, this farm is not regarded as positive, although it is under controls just in case.

“MPI and its industry partners in the response understand how worrying this new detection is to the farming community.

“Planning is underway for two public meetings in Methven and Ashburton on Thursday 11 January to outline the situation. In addition, the meetings will cover plans to test bulk milk and ‘discard milk’ (milk unsuitable for collection, e.g. from cows with mastitis) from farms in the area.”


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