Although we’re on track to achieve eradication, there’s still a lot of hard work ahead of us – and we expect to find more infected herds as the M. bovis Programme continues.
DairyNZ is still actively involved in the programme, at both the governance level and on the ground supporting farmers. As at November 12, 2020:
- There have been 257 confirmed properties to date, with seven Active Confirmed Properties and the remaining cleared.
- Of these, 137 confirmed properties have been beef, 63 dairy, and 57 classified as others (such as calf rearer, grazing and lifestyle).
- $184.9 million has been paid out in compensation.
Bulk Tank Milk screening
Screening is continuing on dairy farms. Each month, a sample is taken at the point of collection, as part of the normal milk collection process.
As at November 12, there were six new properties confirmed with M. bovis as a result of Bulk Tank Milk (BTM) screening: one dairy in Canterbury’s Selwyn District, three dairy farms in Ashburton District, and a further two farms in this area linked by cattle movements. Recent BTM screening gives confidence that this is an isolated cluster connected by animals movements.
These newly identified properties show the national surveillance programme working as it should – detecting possible cases and showing where to look to eliminate the infection.
The National Beef Cattle Surveillance Programme covers screening of beef cattle not connected to the known network of infected properties, sampled at meat processing or alongside TB testing.
As at November 12, samples have been collected from about 86,600 animals, from over 4000 farms. No beef farms have been confirmed as infected from the surveillance programme.
As we continue to find fewer cases, the M. bovis Programme’s efforts will be focused on national surveillance to provide confidence that the disease is absent. An independent Technical Advisory Group has been commissioned to review the existing performance measures and surveillance programme. The group will provide technical advice to support the next stage of the Programme.
Meanwhile, the Programme partners – DairyNZ, Ministry for Primary Industries, and Beef + Lamb NZ – are considering how to ensure the lessons we’ve learned from dealing with M. bovis can help improve future responses to other diseases.