Dan­ger in buy­ing Friesians from farms out­side North­land re­gion

Whangarei Report - - NEWS -

A North­land vet help­ing a beef farmer deal with My­coplasma bo­vis is warn­ing farm­ers about the dan­gers of buy­ing friesian bulls from out­side the re­gion.

Dar­gav­ille Ve­teri­nary Cen­tre man­ager Brian Lowe said there were truck-and-trailer loads of friesian bulls from high­risk ar­eas such as Can­ter­bury head­ing to North­land that placed the com­mu­nity at risk.

Lowe re­vealed at a pub­lic meet­ing or­gan­ised by the Min­istry of Pri­mary In­dus­tries last Fri­day that the only farm that tested pos­i­tive for M. bo­vis was in Dar­gav­ille but no oth­ers were at risk. How­ever, there would be risk if lo­cal farm­ers con­tin­ued to buy an­i­mals cheaper from other re­gions us­ing stock agents from those ar­eas.

The first con­firmed case of M. bo­vis was found just east of Dar­gav­ille on a dry stock farm with about 50 friesian bulls born in Can­ter­bury but bought from Waikato around April this year.

Lowe said some of the an­i­mals on the in­fected farm suf­fered from thei­le­ria — a tick-borne dis­ease caused by an in­tra­cel­lu­lar blood par­a­site. Nor­mally cows in North­land could re­cover rel­a­tively eas­ily, but when th­ese an­i­mals did not get bet­ter Dar­gav­ille Vets were con­tacted.

An in­spec­tion of the name tags and their move­ment re­vealed the an­i­mals had come to Waikato from Can­ter­bury, where 32 farms were in­fected with M. bo­vis — the high­est num­ber in New Zealand.

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