NZ to undertake national beef survey to eradicate M. bovis


Thursday, 23 January, 2020


NZ to undertake national beef survey to eradicate <em>M. bovis</em>

New Zealand’s Mycoplasma bovis Programme is starting a National Beef Survey to provide additional assurance that M. bovis is not widespread in the national beef breeding and stud herd. A report from the independent Technical Advisory Group, released in October 2019, highlighted the plans to progress the national survey of the beef industry. Over the next year, 2500 herds that were not previously part of the M. bovis Programme will be tested.

“Results from the ongoing sampling and monitoring of incoming feedlot cattle gives us confidence the infection is not common in beef breeding herds. This national screening of beef cattle will allow us to determine if there is any unexpected infection in the beef industry, and, at a later date, will help provide confidence that we are free from the disease,” said Dr John Roche, Chief Science Advisor for the Ministry for Primary Industry.

While M. bovis is not widespread in New Zealand, there is still a risk of bringing infection on to farms. Farmers must take the necessary steps to protect their herds, with NAIT compliance a vital part of eradicating the disease. Farmers should be tagging every animal, registering it into the system and recording every movement between NAIT locations.

“We know that this disease and the eradication process has a major impact on the lives of farmers, their families and communities and we thank farmers for their cooperation during the survey,” said Sam McIvor, Chief Executive of Beef + Lamb New Zealand.

To reduce the pressure placed on farming operations, additional mustering of stock will not be required for this testing as sampling of beef cattle will be conducted at the same time that OSPRI takes samples from animals as part of the TBfree Programme. The current ELISA blood test will be used to determine if herds have been exposed to M. bovis, with some farms requiring additional testing to determine their status. Infected farms will be managed under the existing processes of the M. bovis Programme. The programme offers on-farm advice, access to welfare and compensation and recovery expertise, to help those affected get back to business.

Image credit: ©stock.adobe.com/au/dusanpetkovic1

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