Mycoplasma bovis programme boosted ahead of annual stock moving day

Authorities working to eradicate the cattle disease Mycoplasma bovis have boosted operations ahead of the traditional Moving Day on the farming calendar.

Moving Day on June 1st will see thousands of sharemilkers pack their cows into stock trucks and move equipment and families to new farms. 

In a statement, the Ministry for Primary Industries said it had ramped up efforts to contain the disease in preparation for the stock movements.

"The M. bovis programme has increased activity in the lead up to autumn and winter stock movements to limit the risk of disease spread, and to give farmers as much certainty as possible heading into this busy period in the farming calendar," it said.

Mycoplasma bovis programme boosted ahead of annual stock moving day
Photo credit: Supplied

It said an increase in surveillance resource at the end of last year which allowed surveillance to be carried out at a faster pace was behind a backlog of properties that needed to be looked into. 

A special team of over 30 extra staff has been established and to date 111 of the 300 high risk farms have been contacted and 56 Notices of Direction triggered.

"For farmers affected by M. bovis, being unable to move animals as expected presents very real challenges."

MPI said it would be working closely with farmers under movement restrictions to ensure the health and wellbeing of their animals.

"For example, if farmers need extra feed we will make sure that is brought in, at the programme's expense."

Farm Recovery Plans are also being developed for every new farm that is confirmed to have M. bovis, and for other affected farms when needed.