'Mycoplasma bovis' spreads to Northland drystock farm

Mycoplasma bovis was confirmed for the first time in Northland last week.

It was found on a drystock farm through tracing animal movements from known infected farms.

A Canterbury beef finishing farm and drystock farms in Otago and Waikato were also added to the list of infected properties.

There are now 37 quarantined farms - 21 drystock, 14 dairy, and two lifestyle blocks.

Meanwhile, more Canterbury farms had their infected property status lifted after being depopulated, cleaned, disinfected, and completing their 60-day stand-down period.

The Ministry for Primary Industries' recovery team was now helping the farms return to normal operation.

As of last Friday, the ministry has revoked a total of 245 legal notices for M. bovis (both Notices of Direction and Restricted Place Notices).

The Government has also made technical changes to the Nait Act to address shortcomings in the old law, some of which arose during the M. bovis response.

The changes clarify rules for inspecting properties and collecting evidence.

Before the law change, farmers could send animals to a property that was not Nait registered, not record the movement, and face no consequences.

This would now be an offence, as was not recording animal movements to a registered address.

From September 10, M. bovis will be a notifiable organism under the Biosecurity Act. Anyone who suspects its presence must report it to the ministry.

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