Mycoplasma bovis Resources

Federated Farmers is working closely with MPI and other industry groups to manage the discovery of M. bovis on farms throughout New Zealand. Stay up to date and in the know here. 

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
  • abortions
  • 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

Latest updates and advisories

Independent M.bovis review is opportunity for learning

Posted on 19/02/2021
Federated Farmers is pleased the government is committed to finding out what more can be learnt from the country’s handling of the biosecurity response to Mycoplasma bovis...

Mycoplasma bovis community meetings

Posted on 7/02/2020
We have two Mycoplasma bovis community meetings in the Bay of Plenty next Wednesday

M. bovis and tax ramifications

Posted on 31/01/2020
Federated Farmers would like to hear from any farmers whose dairy or beef breeding cows have been, or are going to be, compulsorily depopulated (partially or fully) because their cattle tested positive to Mycoplasma bovis AND their cattle are valued

Bringing cows home from grazing? Sending bobbies to the works?

Posted on 27/07/2018
New Regulations cover the transport of pregnant cows.

Change of time, venue for Nelson M bovis meeting

Posted on 21/06/2018
The meeting was to have been held in Brightwater, starting 1pm, but this has been changed... NOTE venue change

Key Contacts

  • To subscribe to updates on Mycoplasma bovis join MPI's email list 
  • Rural Support Trust - 0800 787 254
  • Exotic Pest and Disease Hotline - 0800 80 99 66


M bovis Calves- June 2018
(Adobe PDF File)
Mycoplasma bovis FAQs
(Adobe PDF File)
Reduce the Risk of M Bovis
(Adobe PDF File)
Winter Feeding Update 28 May
(Adobe PDF File)
What to look out for poster
(Adobe PDF File)