Friday, 19 July 2019 09:55

Questions over M. bovis communication

Written by 
Left to right: RCNZ’s Roger Parton, Fed Farmers’ Gavin Forrest and MPI’s Joe Stockman at the RCNZ Nelson conference. Left to right: RCNZ’s Roger Parton, Fed Farmers’ Gavin Forrest and MPI’s Joe Stockman at the RCNZ Nelson conference.

Rural contractors have challenged MPI and Federated Farmers over the management of Mycoplasma bovis.

At the Rural Contractors NZ conference, held in Nelson last month, re-elected RCNZ president David Kean led the questioning on disease. 

He says a second round of M. bovis was being suggested on some Southland farms and contractors were no better off than the first time in knowing whether a farm was infected or not. 

Kean added that using TracMap, contractors like him could visit three farms a day without direct contact with a farmer, raising the risk of spreading the infection. Taranaki’s Chris Satherley claimed that MPI had put contractors in a terrible position and if eradication was sought, the names of affected properties had to be communicated. 

Federated Farmers general manager for policy and advocacy, Gavin Forrest, told the conference that all farms with infected herds were required to have signs on their gate and it was traumatic enough for farming families without the risk of victimisation. 

RCNZ chief executive Roger Parton explained that contractors had to travel from farm to farm, so knowing which farms were suspected of having M. bovis would allow them to take appropriate measures and not expand the risk. Forrest said if contractors were washing down equipment between farms the chances of spread were virtually nil.

MPI’s Joe Stockman told the conference the primary sources for transfer were cow-to-cow contact and contaminated milk. He also claimed some farmers had not given a “sh!t” about keeping NAIT records, which had not helped. 

Stockman added that 176 properties were under investigation for M. bovis, making it the most challenging biosecurity issue farmers had ever faced. 

But he pointed out there were 22,000 farms nationally and fewer infected dairy herds were emerging and the disease was not moving into beef herds.

The conference was told farm biosecurity issues were not limited to M. bovis. Helen Slattery, who sits on a national committee dealing with velvetleaf, said some farmers had been driven near to suicide over the invasive pest.

» Connect with Rural News

More like this

M. bovis numbers’ big drop

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) is welcoming a huge drop in the number of farms under active surveillance for Mycoplasma bovis.

Bovis compo off to court

A South Island farming couple whose farm was the first discovered with Mycoplasma bovis are taking legal action against the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI).

Stink bug warning for importers

A serious threat is posed to New Zealand’s agricultural and horticultural sectors by the brown marmorated stink bug (Halymorpha halys), MPI warns.

» The RNG Weather Report

Featured

A big future ahead

Age hasn't been a barrier for young vegetable grower of the year Austin Singh Purewal.

 

Sheep and beef doing its bit

No increase in stock numbers in the sheep and beef sector is anticipated as the industry moves towards carbon neutrality, says Beef + Lamb NZ head of nutrition Fiona Windle.

Fonterra lifts milk price

Good news for Fonterra farmers – the co-op is increasing its 2019-20 forecast farmgate milk price by 30c/kgMS.

» Connect with Rural News

» Connect with Rural News

» The RNG Weather Report

» Latest Print Issues Online

The Hound

Chipping in

The Hound was intrigued to read an article recently, on the Newsroom website, that shows that Education Minister Chris ‘Chippy’…

I'm alright

This old mutt has been contacted by many concerned individuals about the role the former Synlait boss John Penno is…

 

» Connect with Rural News