M bo­vis con­firmed in Taranaki

Taranaki Daily News - - News - Cather­ine Groen­estein cather­ine.groen­[email protected] stuff.co.nz

Taranaki’s first case of the cat­tle dis­ease My­coplasma bo­vis has been con­firmed by the Min­istry of Pri­mary In­dus­tries.

A dairy farm has been des­ig­nated as the re­gion’s first Re­stricted Place af­ter test re­sults and an­i­mal move­ments showed a risk of spread­ing the bac­te­rial dis­ease, My­coplasma bo­vis di­rec­tor Ge­off Gwyn, from the Min­istry of Pri­mary In­dus­tries, said in an emailed state­ment.

A Re­stricted Place is a farm where there is ei­ther con­firmed dis­ease or a very high sus­pi­cion of dis­ease, and it re­quires that all cat­tle be culled.

The bac­te­ria is spread an­i­mal to an­i­mal through close con­tact and bod­ily flu­ids,

‘‘M. bo­vis is tested at a herd level and in this case the herd has tested pos­i­tive for M. bo­vis,’’ Gwyn said.

The bac­te­ria is eas­ily spread through an­i­mal con­tacts or drink­ing in­fected milk, so any cat­tle which have mixed with in­fected an­i­mals are con­sid­ered to be at risk of in­fec­tion even if the in­di­vid­ual an­i­mals do not show clin­i­cal signs.

‘‘The M. bo­vis re­sponse team has worked ex­tremely hard to es­tab­lish whether the prop­erty is at risk of be­ing in­fected and have es­tab­lished the risk is high, as is the risk of spread­ing it to other prop­er­ties,’’ he said.

Fur­ther tests would be done af­ter the an­i­mals were culled to con­firm the in­fec­tion.

He would not re­veal any de­tails about the farm in­volved or the num­ber of an­i­mals be­ing culled.

‘‘This is a sen­si­tive sit­u­a­tion and ex­tremely try­ing for the farm­ers in­volved,’’ he said.

‘‘We have not taken this de­ci­sion lightly and it is nec­es­sary for the re­sponse to erad­i­cate M. bo­vis from New Zealand.’’

He said MPI was work­ing with the farm­ers con­cerned and their sup­port net­works to help them through the process.

‘‘We are well aware that the ef­fect of this erad­i­ca­tion re­sponse has on in­di­vid­ual farm­ers,’’ he said. ‘‘We are wrap­ping as much wel­fare sup­port around the own­ers of the prop­erty as pos­si­ble.’’

The Gov­ern­ment an­nounced in May that it would at­tempt to erad­i­cate the dis­ease at an es­ti­mated cost of $886 mil­lion over 10 years.

It was dis­cov­ered in a South Can­ter­bury dairy herd in July last year.

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