Farmers to get new tool to test cattle for Mycoplasma bovis

Mycoplasma bovis was first detected in a farm in south Canterbury in 2017.
Mycoplasma bovis was first detected in a farm in south Canterbury in 2017. Photo credit: iStock

Farmers will now be able to test their cows themselves for the cattle disease Mycoplasma bovis. 

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) says a new tool will give farmers more certainty amid the disease outbreak which was first detected on a south Canterbury farm in July 2017.

It has since spread to properties in Southland, Otago, Canterbury and the Hawke's Bay. 

"The tests currently available will lead to a significant number of farms being falsely identified as positive and farms that may be real positives being missed.

"That's why we are developing robust processes, including a testing strategy and sampling guidelines which may form part of an accreditation programme," MPI response director Geoff Gwyn says.

The tool will be released once sampling guidelines, a testing strategy and an accreditation programme has been developed. 

Last month, MPI announced more than 22,000 cattle will be culled in a effort to control the spread of the disease. 

Currently, there are 30 properties in lockdown under restricted place notices - meaning there can be no stock movement off the property. 

Mycoplasma bovis can cause mastitis, pneumonia, arthritis and late-term abortions in cattle. 

Newshub.