Protect your farm
- Download the Biosecurity WOF. Developed with farmers, for farmers. We recommend that you ask your veterinarian to help you work through this check list.
- Download the Protecting your farm – biosecurity checklist to identify ways you can help protect your farm from diseases, weeds and pests.
- Sign up for M. bovis email updates from MPI by emailing MBovis2017_Liaison@mpi.govt.nz
Mycoplasma bovis disease:
- is a bacterial disease
- is commonly found in cattle all over the world, including in Australia, but this is the first detection of it in New Zealand. We were one of the last countries free of the disease - until now
- it does not infect humans and presents no food safety risk. There is no concern about eating meat, milk and milk products
- it does lead to serious conditions in cattle and therefore constitutes an animal welfare and productivity issue
- it spreads from animal to animal through close contact. Between farms it spreads through the movement of animals that are infected but not showing symptoms. It is also potentially spread on contaminated equipment and the feeding of untreated milk to calves. It is not windborne.
- while some of the conditions can be treated, affected cattle will always be carriers of the disease
- the disease does not affect sheep or cause illness in goats although it is thought goats could carry and transmit it.
How does it affect cows:
- untreatable mastitis in dairy and beef cows
- severe pneumonia in up to 30% of infected calves, starting as a hacking cough
- ear infections in calves, the first sign typically being one droopy ear, progressing to ear discharges and in some cases a head tilt
- swollen joints and lameness (severe arthritis/synovitis) in all ages of cattle
- know the signs to look out for, download the 'Signs to look out for' poster. If stock show unusual levels of mastitis, abortions or present with arthritis or pneumonia, contact your vet.
There are some simple steps you can take on farm to protect your animals from contracting M. bovis
- Check your boundary fences are secure
- Put in double fencing at least two metres apart to stop nose to nose contact between you and your neighbour’s stock. Permanent is best but in the short term it can be simply putting a reel up if your neighbour’s stock are going to be in the adjacent paddock.
- Download and complete the biosecurity check list and biosecurity WOF. These actions will go a long way to protecting your farm.
- Always complete your NAIT records and make sure if you have had movement over the last month they are correctly recorded. Knowing where your cows have been is crucial to understanding and preventing the spread of disease.
Protecting your farm from Mycoplasma bovis in drought-affected areas
With a number of farms in drought-affected areas, there is concern about the movement of animals for grazing or getting in supplementary feed from other regions.
Bringing in supplementary feed
- There is no risk of Mycoplasma bovis infection from bringing in hay or baleage from uninfected farms.
- Confirm that if the feed is coming from a farm under a Notice of Direction or a Restricted Place Notice then it meets any conditions on the Notice.
- Vehicles coming onto your farm should be confined to the tanker track or main access track. Use your own vehicles to transport feed around your farm.
- Keep farm access tracks as clean zones by not moving stock across them, or allowing stock to graze in the track area.
Moving animals for temporary grazing
- Check the off-farm grazing property’s biosecurity health status. All Mycoplasma bovis infected properties are under Restricted Place Notices under the Biosecurity Act, restricting the movement of stock and equipment on and off those farms to contain the disease.
- Ensure that the grazing property has good biosecurity measures in place, such as preventing your stock from having nose to nose contact with stock on the farm or neighbouring properties.
- When returning stock to your property, follow good farm hygiene procedures to reduce the risk of disease entering your farm.
- Keep your NAIT and other animal movement records up to date, including Animal Status Declaration (ASD forms) – this is a legal requirement in any case but enables tracing of disease.
- Mycoplasma bovis guidelines - Updated guidelines for protecting your farm from Mycoplasma bovis. (pdf)
- Cleaning poster - Info to help you protect your farm from disease (pdf)
- Pre-purchase checklist (Mycoplasma bovis) (pdf)
- Mycoplasma bovis advice on using imported or local semen (pdf)
Movement control notices issued by MPI
We've had some questions about the different notices that MPI can use to control the movement of animals and people on and off farm. These are the two types of notices under the Biosecurity Act that are issued to farms that are affected and farms that are suspected of being affected.
Restricted Place Notice… What is it?
- Restricted Place Notices (RPNs) are issued to properties that are believed to have, or are suspected of having Mycoplasma bovis present.
- The RPN prohibits all unauthorised movements of stock and other risk goods onto and off the farm to minimise the likelihood of the disease spreading from the property.
- Any movement of cattle requires a permit from MPI.
- Transport vehicles are required to follow a cleaning and disinfection process when they leave a Restricted Place.
- AsureQuality staff are ensuring cleaning and disinfecting and permit protocols are being met.
- All incidents of non-compliance are followed up by MPI.
Notice of Direction… What is it?
- Notice of directions (NoDs) are issued to farms when an inspector or authorised person considers that movement of stock and other risk goods from a property poses a risk of spreading Mycoplasma bovis. For example, this can be when animals from infected properties have been moved to that property but testing has not yet taken place or results of testing are pending.
- The NoD is aimed at preventing further spread and does not restrict movement of stock or goods on to the farm.
- Cattle can only move off the farm with a permit.
- Other steps such as cleaning and disinfection of vehicles may be required.
- All incidents of non-compliance are followed up by MPI.
For more information visit the MPI website or call MPI on 0800 80 99 66 if you have any concerns.