30 farms in­fected with Mbo­vis

The Southland Times - - WEATHER - GERALD PIDDOCK

The cat­tle dis­ease My­coplasma bo­vis has been con­firmed on two new prop­er­ties, lift­ing the to­tal num­ber of in­fected farms to 30.

Both new prop­er­ties are dairy farms in the Ash­bur­ton area and con­nected to al­ready known in­fected prop­er­ties, the Min­istry for Pri­mary In­dus­tries said.

The re­gional break­down of in­fected prop­er­ties now stands at one each at Hawke’s Bay and Can­ter­bury, six in Ash­bur­ton, 10 in South Can­ter­bury/North Otago, two in Otago (Mid­dle­march) and 10 in South­land.

MPI said all of them were linked to the orig­i­nal in­fected prop­er­ties via an­i­mal move­ments, and had been caused by close an­i­mal con­tact.

M bo­vis is a bac­te­rial dis­ease which causes ill­ness in cat­tle in­clud­ing mas­ti­tis, abor­tion, pneu­mo­nia, and arthri­tis. The ill­ness is dif­fi­cult to treat.

Once in­fected, an­i­mals may carry and shed the bac­terium for long pe­ri­ods of time with no ob­vi­ous signs of ill­ness.

In late March, MPI said about 22,300 cat­tle would be culled in an ef­fort to con­tain the dis­ease.

At an av­er­age cost of $1650 per milk­ing cow, the value of the cat­tle would be ap­prox­i­mately $36.5 mil­lion.

How­ever, many are lesser value calves, and when the cows are sent to meat pro­ces­sors, they will be worth be­tween $800 and $1000.

At the be­gin­ning of the month, of­fi­cials said $2.6m had so far been paid out to af­fected farm­ers, and they pro­jected a fur­ther $60m of li­a­bil­i­ties.

Op­er­at­ing costs to that date were $35m.

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