Federated Farmers is working closely with MPI and other industry groups to understand the discovery of M. bovis on farms in New Zealand. Check here for resources, factsheets and information as we have it to keep up to date with what it means for you.
Mycoplasma bovis disease
Mycoplasma bovis (M.bovis) is a bacterial disease that is commonly found in cattle all over the world, including Australia. It does not infect humans and presents no food safety risk. There is no concern about eating meat, milk and milk products.
It does lead to a serious condition in cattle and therefore constitutes an animal welfare and productivity issue. It spreads from animal to animal through close contact (mucus & sweat). Between farms it spreads through the movement of animals that are infected but not showing symptoms. It could also be spread via contaminated equipment, although the bacteria do not survive long when exposed. It is also thought to be spread via the feeding of untreated milk to calves.
How it affects cows:
- untreatable mastitis in dairy and beef cows
- severe pneumonia in up to 30% of infected calves, starting as a hacking cough
- ear infections in calves, the first sign typically being one droopy ear, progressing to ear discharges and in some cases a head tilt
- swollen joints and lameness (severe arthritis/synovitis) in all ages of cattle.
Know the signs to look out for - see the poster in the factsheets on the right. If in doubt, call your vet.
Make sure your animals are up-to-date with NAIT.
Put biosecurity management actions in to place on your farm, such as logging the movement of staff, contractors and machinery on and off your farm.
To find out when there will be a meeting in your area, a video from DairyNZ's team about M.bovis or more DairyNZ resources, click here