Mycoplasma bovis in NZ

A cow herd in South Canterbury has been diagnosed with  New Zealand’s first case of Mycoplasma bovis.

A highly contagious cattle disease commonly found in the world has infected a South Canterbury dairy herd in the first recorded case in New Zealand.

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) is responding to the detection of the cattle disease Mycoplasma bovis in 14 cows in the dairy herd. About 150 cows on the property have clinical signs that indicate they may be affected.

The ministry’s director of response, Geoff Gwyn, said Mycoplasma bovis did not infect humans and presented no food safety risk. There was no concern about consuming milk and milk products.

MPI was advised of sick cattle at the property last Monday, and the disease was confirmed by the ministry’s Animal Health Laboratory late on Saturday.

This will be a nightmare for the farmer and is of great concern to the industry.

No-one knows how the herd was infected but it is a reminder of the importance of stringent biosecurity border controls.

This disease doesn’t affect people and presents no food safety risk, but if it could get here so too could diseases which would.

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