Earlier this week, some of our team attended the Mycoplasma Bovis Information Roadshow in Whangarei. Over 400 people attended the in depth presentation regarding the bacterium and what actions are in place to contain and eradicate the disease.

In case you missed it, here are some of the key points:

Mycoplasma Bovis (M Bovis) is not a food safety risk and only affects cattle.
There are currently 38 active infected properties in New Zealand – a small percentage of the 20,000+ farms nationwide.
No farms in Northland are infected but there is no room for complacency.

How can you protect your farm?

75% of M Bovis is spread by movement of cattle from property to property. Make sure you purchase stock from a reliable source, do your due diligence before you purchase, ask questions, find out about the stock history.
While NAIT is currently under review, M Bovis shows the importance of recording all stock movement to and from your farm as traceability is a key way of identifying potential issues. Now could be a good time to ensure your NAIT records are up to date.

If you’re calf rearing, purchase your milk from a reliable source. Pasturising the milk will remove the bacterium if it’s present or milk powder could be another solution.
Work with your neighbours to avoid over the fence contact and avoid both properties grazing on boundary paddocks at the same time. If this is not possible, consider putting up temporary electric fencing to keep stock away from boundary fencing.

Work with your staff and contractors to ensure only clean equipment comes onto the property and look to set up disinfectant stations at points of entry.
Talk to someone. If you have concerns, there is plenty of support available. If your stock does become infected with M Bovis there is compensation available.
This requires good financial documentation to justify your claim and to avoid processing hold ups.

We’re here to help

If you’d like to minimise the risk of M Bovis to your farm, chat to our farming specialist Andrea Emmerson on 09 430 4892 or email gumboots@sudburys.co.nz.