NZ Farmer - North Canterbury dairy farm infected

Written by Heather Chalmers

The first North Canterbury dairy farm has been confirmed as infected with Mycoplasma bovis.

The dairy farm was in the Waimakariri district and connected through animal movements to other infected farms, the Ministry for Primary Industries said.

While two other North Canterbury properties were infected with M. bovis, they were both beef properties.

To date, 28,279 animals had been culled by MPI, part of an expected cull of about 150,000 cattle in an attempt to rid the country of M. bovis, a bacterial disease which can cause untreatable mastitis, abortion and arthritis in cows.

The disease is harmless to humans and was not transmitted through meat or milk.

Canterbury had the highest number of farms confirmed infected with M. bovis at 23, with 17 in Southland.

Of the 23 Canterbury farms, five had been depopulated of animals, cleaned, fallowed and able to be restocked – the latest an Ashburton farm.

Confirmed infected properties totalled 54, of which 13 had been cleared of the disease.

At July 6, 67 claims with a total value of almost $12.5 million have been paid to affected farmers, with $17.3m of claims having been assessed to date.

A total of 197 claims had been received, worth $28.7m, said MPI.