The affected farm in the Ashburton area has been under controls since Christmas Eve, and there appears to be no sign of illness in the 600 animals on the property. MPI is also continuing tests on another Ashburton area farm that had previously returned inconclusive results.
Two community meetings will be held on Thursday 11 January for farmers in the area. Keep an eye out for confirmed meeting details at www.mpi.govt.nz.
DairyNZ continues to support MPI with their investigations and is working closely on long-term solutions for control and eradication. The DairyNZ team will be directly supporting dairy farmers impacted, as well as developing tools to limit the spread of the disease.
Tim Mackle, DairyNZ CE says “we are still hopeful that M. bovis can be controlled and ultimately eradicated from New Zealand. But to do so, everyone who works with cattle in New Zealand has a part to play in helping with this response”.
“What the dairy and beef sectors need to do right now is adopt a precautionary approach to managing this incursion. As new cases appear, it leads to uncertainty. This is frustrating and worrying, but more importantly is something that should be managed by limiting animal contacts.”
It is important that all farmers quickly establish biosecurity practices that reduce the risk of M. bovis getting onto farms.
For farmers, there are some simple steps to reduce the risk of cattle contracting M. bovis on their farm. Understanding animal movements is vital and NAIT must always be kept up to date.
We need farmers to be careful about stock movements and understand the risks of exposure to other cattle.
M. bovis is spread by animals coming into contact, so stopping such contacts is a good way to protect cattle – even if it’s just the neighbour’s stock. Boundary fencing should be secure, and double fencing two metres apart will prevent nose to nose contact.
Late last year, DairyNZ developed a biosecurity ‘WOF’ that farmers can work through with their veterinarian. Completing this WOF will go a long way to making sure a farm is protected. The WOF can be downloaded online.
Senior Communications Manager
021 930 836