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Tracking bovis cows vital – O’Connor

Hon Damien O’Connor

Minister for Agriculture

14 December 2017

Tracking bovis cows vital – O’Connor

Farmers keeping accurate records of stock movements is a vital part of halting the spread of Mycoplasma bovis, says Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor.

Mr O’Connor today called together industry leaders to emphasise the need for absolute adherence to animal movement requirements.

Mr O’Connor has been getting daily updates on the disease after it was detected in cows on properties near Hastings and Winton.

“I want to reassure farmers that the Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI) is working hard to trace and track animals linked to these properties,’’ Mr O’Connor says.

“Just to put the effort into context, nearly 55,000 tests have been conducted on animals to date. Farmers need to play their part in recording stock movements and follow the recommended measures to prevent further problems. Tracking and tracing the animals is a vital part of MPI’s work.”

Mr O’Connor says farmers should make the most of MPI’s resources and seek help, when needed, from industry groups.

“I want to thank the many groups from Federated Farmers to the Rural Support Trust for helping farmers to deal with the challenge that Mycoplasma bovis presents. I’m receiving regular updates from officials and talking to farmers on the ground about what they are seeing.

“I’ve asked officials to review the policy of not naming the farms where Mycoplasma bovis is detected. Previous advice is that privacy law prevents us from naming those farms, but I think it could be a useful tool so other farmers can put up their hands and say ‘I brought stock from that property’. It could help the tracking and tracing process.’’

Since the disease was first spotted on a South Island farm in July, 12 properties have been infected.

MPI has culled 3500 cattle to try to contain the disease and tracking from the infected properties continues.


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