First Mycoplasma bovis case found in Tasman district

The disease affects cattle. Photo credit: Newshub.

Cattle disease Mycoplasma bovis has been found in Tasman district for the first time.

It was discovered on a mixed sheep and beef farm near the town of Motueka in the South Island.

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) said in a statement there is a very low risk to neighbouring farms, but the affected property has been quarantined for the foreseeable future.

Incident controller Catherine Duthie said the animals would have been brought onto the farm already infected with the disease.

"The new finds are the result of our tracing uncovering historical movements of animals and then confirming the infection through testing," she said.

"These movements, in many cases, took place before we even knew Mycoplasma bovis was in the country."

Wayne Langford from Federated Farmers said the discovery shows farmers can't let down their guard.

"It's just a good reminder that it's still there and it's going to be with us for a good few years yet," he told Newshub.

According to MPI, the current number of affected farms stands at 35, while 28 farms have been cleared and have resumed normal farming business.