Mycoplasma bovis (M bovis) is a bacteria that can cause serious problems in cattle. The disease usually spreads through contact between animals, but it can survive outside the animal for up to 50 days, which means people can spread it by moving from one property to another.
The disease was first found in the South Island, but it’s now also in the North Island. On 7 June the first case in the Wellington Region was confirmed in the Wairarapa, and we must now follow guidelines to prevent unknowingly spreading the disease and causing further cases in our region.
The national programme of surveillance and management is being led by the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI). More information on mycoplasma bovis can be found on the MPI website.
Whether you’re a farmer or not, if you spend any time at a property with cattle, at a minimum, you need to follow the three-step process outlined by MPI for on-farm hygiene before you arrive and leave the property:
Separate: Does it need to come on the farm? If not, keep it off
Clean: before disinfecting – things have to be clean before they can be disinfected – disinfectants don’t work through dirt
Disinfect: disinfect to destroy or inactivate "bugs"
Any common agricultural disinfectants are effective. Alternatively you can use 0.2% Citric acid – 1 tsp in 1 litre of water.
For more information and advice visit the MPI website.
If you think you have infected animals contact your vet in the first instance, otherwise contact the MPI Exotic Pes and Disease Hotline on 0800 80 99 66.
With our park rangers and farms in parks, we have a lot of movement between properties with cattle. So we are thinking carefully about our movements and processes and putting separate, clean and disinfect into our staff guidelines.
To help with the process we’ve purchased vehicle kits with everything our staff need to clean and disinfect their vehicles, equipment, clothing and boots before they get to the farm and when they leave.