22 Jun 2018

Farmers to be told of neighbouring Mycoplasma bovis

3:28 pm on 22 June 2018

The government has decided to start directly informing neighbouring farms when an infected or high-risk property is detected nearby.

No caption

Photo: RNZ

The aim is to allow farmers to take appropriate steps to improve on-farm biosecurity and reduce the risk to their own stock.

The government said tough new disclosure rules on Mycoplasma bovis might have been brought in sooner but there were complex problems to deal with.

The cattle disease was identified 11 months ago and many farmers have been pleading for information on infections in their neighbourhood so they can take preventive measures.

Biosecurity Minister Damien O'Connor, who is also the Agriculture Minister, said farmers would in future be told of problems next door and would also have to include Mycoplasma bovis information on legal documentation on the health of cattle being sold.

He said the Ministry for Primary Industries would start publishing the National Animal Identification and Tracing (NAIT) numbers of all affected animals on its website.

That would include all animals associated with or traced from an infected property.

The aim was to give farmers better information to make informed decisions when purchasing new stock, Mr O'Connor said.

Get the RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs