Hawke's Bay Today

M. bovis properties affected by fires


Biosecurit­y officials say they’re keeping an eye on cattle under quarantine near the Tasman fires for risk of spreading Mycoplasma bovis. An ongoing Government­primary industry effort to eradicate the disease, which is passed from animal to animal and by feeding infected milk to calves, is set to cost the country nearly $1 billion. Thousands of dairy and beef cattle have been killed in the eradicatio­n attempt. The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) said three properties in the eradicatio­n effort were in the area affected by fires. M. bovis officials were working closely with farmers and emergency services to be prepared to move the stock away from other cattle if necessary. The cattle considered at risk of spreading M. bovis remained under quarantine and their welfare needs were being met, said MPI. To date, 150 dairy cows and 50 calves on a farm not affected by the M. bovis programme had been moved. The property from which they were moved was not damaged by fire, but close to it and dry. The stock were moved to a greener, wetter paddock, said MPI. Latest MPI data shows 23 properties in the South Island are considered infected by MPI, and nine in the North Island. In the South Island there are 45 properties under movement control and 12 in the North Island. Under MPI scrutiny are 137 farms in the South Island and 78 in the North Island. MPI said the value of compensati­on so far paid to farmers for cattle killed was $43.8 million.

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