First suspected Mycoplasma bovis case in Taranaki, cattle to be culled

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) has confirmed that a Taranaki farm has tested positive for Mycoplasma bovis in the first case of the cattle disease in the region.

MPI said the farm has been served a Restricted Place notice after test results and animal movements showed the animals on this property are at a risk of spreading the disease.

Mycoplasma bovis director for MPI, Geoff Gwyn, said it is a very diffucult time for those affected.

"This is a sensitive situation and extremely trying for the farmers involved."

He said, for privacy reasons, the specifics are not being revealed, but a number of animals will be culled.

"We have not taken this decision lightly and it is necessary for the response to eradicate M. bovis from New Zealand," said Mr Gwyn.

The latest update from MPI on M bovis numbers.
The latest update from MPI on M bovis numbers. Photo credit: Supplied

"While every decision is made with the aim of eradicating the disease, we are well aware that the effect of this eradication response has on individual farmers," he said.

He said the owners of the property are being supported through the process.

M. bovis is tested at a herd level and, in this case, Mr Gwyn said the herd tested positive for M. bovis.

"The bacteria is easily spread through animal contacts or drinking infected milk, therefore any cattle which have mixed with infected animals are considered to be at risk of infection even if they do not show clinical signs," he said.