Mycoplasma bovis testing and surveillance

To build a picture of where Mycoplasma bovis is, we're tracing animal movements and testing samples from dairy farms across New Zealand. Read about the testing process.

Tracing the disease

A large operation is underway to build a picture of where Mycoplasma bovis is and help manage it.

Testing higher risk farms and cattle

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) is testing animals on known infected farms and trace properties – farms where animals or risk goods have been moved from infected properties, or that have supplied animals to infected properties.

We're also testing samples supplied through regional vet laboratories from cows with mastitis.

Testing farms across New Zealand

With the support of the dairy industry, we're testing milk from all productive dairy farms across the country. Under the National Surveillance Programme, 3 samples are being analysed from each farm – one from the bulk tanker milk and 2 samples of discard milk from the sick cow herd.

MPI is a significant way through the testing process. We expect the National Surveillance Programme will show whether the disease is in more farms than those associated with the 2 known clusters.

What happens if a farm has suspected disease

To control the disease, we're issuing 2 types of legal notices to farms that are affected or suspected of being affected. The notices – Restricted Place Notices and Notices of Direction – are to restrict the movement of any risk goods, including animals, out of these properties. To make sure the requirements of the notices are followed, MPI follows up all incidents of non-compliance.

On 26 March 2018, MPI decided to cull all cattle on farms confirmed to have Mycoplasma bovis. The cull is a critical measure to control the spread of the disease.

The results

Mycoplasma bovis is a complicated disease to rule out and we need to have absolute confidence in all test results. We need to be able to give farmers and the New Zealand public certainty. This means test results can take time to analyse.

Check the current status of the disease in NZ

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