NoMbo­vis in Waikato

Hauraki Herald - - FARMING - GER­ALD PIDDOCK

A Cam­bridge dairy farmer has hit back at ‘‘far­fetched’’ ru­mours his farm busi­ness has My­coplasma bo­vis.

The in­fec­tious bac­te­rial dis­ease was found for the first time in New Zea­land last July and has since been mostly con­tained to the South Is­land with 30 prop­er­ties con­firmed to have tested pos­i­tive. Henk Smit is adamant his farm is not one of them.

‘‘I think peo­ple have got bor­ing lives and they like to make up sto­ries,’’ he said.

Smit’s fam­ily owns three farms and bought cows from a South Is­land farm two years ago that was linked with a farm that had tested pos­i­tive, but so far tests had showed his herd had tested neg­a­tive for the dis­ease.

‘‘We’re cur­rently go­ing through three sets of blood test­ing with the cows and so far ev­ery­thing has come back neg­a­tive. I def­i­nitely don’t have My­coplasma bo­vis as far as I know.’’

His farm had been put un­der a no­tice of di­rec­tion by of­fi­cials from the Min­istry for Pri­mary In­dus­tries.

The no­tice is placed when stock move­ments are con­sid­ered to pose a risk of spread­ingMbo­vis.

The bac­te­rial dis­ease caused a range of se­ri­ous con­di­tions in­clud­ing mas­ti­tis pneu­mo­nia, arthri­tis and late-term abor­tions. It does not in­fect hu­mans and presents no food safety risk.

Smit said the no­tice had not caused too much of a dis­rup­tion to his farm busi­ness, apart from him hav­ing to keep his younger stock on the farm for longer in­stead of tak­ing them to his runoff block.

While he was con­fi­dent his cat­tle were M bo­vis free, he un­der­stood the M bo­vis test­ing was not 100 per cent ac­cu­rate, lead­ing to false-pos­i­tives and false-neg­a­tives.

‘‘The thing that makes me a lit­tle bit ner­vous is the ac­cu­racy of this test.’’

Tests were be­ing car­ried out five weeks apart and he hoped to be in the clear by June.


The hor­ti­cul­ture in­dus­try wants to use the sa­mu­rai wasp to con­trol the brown mar­morated stink bug should it be­come es­tab­lished in New Zea­land.

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