MPI to dob in Mycoplasma bovis affected farms to their neighbours

A calf.
A calf. Photo credit: File

The Ministry for Primary Industries will be notifying farms if their neighbours have Mycoplasma bovis.

Minister for Biosecurity Damien O'Connor announced the new measures on Friday, saying the changes had come from speaking to farmers in the M bovis road show.

"Some farmers have expressed frustration at not being formally told when a neighbour's farm is identified as an infected property," he said.

"MPI will start directly informing neighbouring farms of infected properties or high-risk properties. This will mean farmers can take appropriate steps to improve their on-farm biosecurity and reduce the risk to their own stock.

"This is a measured step that balances the privacy concerns of individuals with the need for farmers to protect their own farms."

The national Animal Identification and Tracing (NAIT) numbers of infected animals will also be published on the MPI website.

"MPI will also do more to ensure enforcement of the Animal Status Declaration (ASD) form," Mr O'Connor said.

"It is a legal requirement that the ASD form must accompany a consignment of cattle when a stock sale takes place.

"Farmers need to disclose the health history of their stock in the form and declare whether their farm is under any movement controls.

"They need to ensure they are completing the ASD form correctly and, along with greater compliance with NAIT, this will support our efforts to eradicate Mycoplasma bovis."

Further legislative changes are being considered, including new infringement offence for failing to use an ASD form correctly, amending NAIT to bring search powers in line with the Search and Surveillance Act and regulation to control the use of discarded milk.