Further 1000 Mycoplasma Bovis Cattle to be Culled

NEW ZEALAND - A further 1000 cattle will be culled in South Canterbury due to the cattle disease Mycoplasma Bovis.
calendar icon 17 November 2017
clock icon 3 minute read

According to the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI), that will bring the total cull number up to 5000.

Meanwhile several people have applied to the ministry for compensation for loss of livestock and productivity.

Stuff.co.nz reports that on Wednesday, MPI confirmed another farm in South Canterbury was infected with the disease, bringing the total infected properties to eight.

Two farms in the Waimate District were placed under restrictions last week after it was suspected they could be infected with the disease.

MPI later confirmed one of those farms had tested positive for the disease.

The disease causes illness in cattle, including udder infection (mastitis), abortion, pneumonia, and arthritis and was present in the United States and the United Kingdom.

Ministry for Primary Industries incident controller David Yard said 1000 cows were on the infected farm that tested positive for the disease on Wednesday.

"The process will not change. Any cattle on an infected premise will be culled."

Properties under restrictive place notice could test negative for the disease but could still test positive at a later time, he said.

"It is quite heartening to say that the restrictive notice have tested negative but it is not a sure thing. There is a possibility, what we do is lift the requirements of the restrictive place notice but we would still keep them under notice of direction."

There were 23 properties which had restrictive place notices of which eight were confirmed to be infected with the disease, Mr Yard said.

"Animals on notice will receive extensive testing, ultimately if they test negative we will consider lifting restrictions, we won't necessarily lift it completely.

The disease could be dormant within the animal and show negative during testing but after "cattle get stressed the disease becomes prevalent when they shed skin cells," Mr Yard said.

To date three people had applied for compensation under the Biosecurity Act, Mr Yard said.

To be eligible for compensation from the ministry, MPI had to exercise powers under the Biosecurity Act

"They should not profit but they should not suffer. If people were worse off they wouldn't tell us."

The Government would only pay for verifiable losses, he said.

"That is a loss that is incurred as a result of those exercised powers, and attributed to those exercised powers and evidence is required to prove that loss.

"It is public money we are spending, it is not a blank cheque book and documentation is required.

"We will ensure than an independent valuation of the animal is under taken before slaughter, the farmer can claim the associated losses in regards of milk losses and how much milk it produced and variety of other things."

Mr Yard said MPI was confident after 40,000 tests the disease was still contained in South Canterbury.

"We have done over 40,000 tests to date, we have tested a whole range of things - mastitis milk samples, blood tests and swabs.

"We have detected nothing outside the region. Given information to date, we have some level of confidence the disease is contained in South Canterbury."

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