Mycoplasma bovis detected on South Canterbury farm

Investigations continue in MPI’s response to the detection of the new-to-New Zealand cattle disease Mycoplasma bovis on a farm in South Canterbury.

Latest Update 23/8/2017

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) strongly suspects a third South Island property is positive for Mycoplasma bovis.

For more information on the latest update visit MPI's website.

Latest Update for 11/8/2017

MPI's progress in the response to the cattle disease Mycoplasma bovis was the focus of a well-attended public meeting in Waimate last night. 

For more information on the latest update visit MPI's website.

Latest Update 7/08/2017

There remains no change to the number of properties with confirmed positive test results for Mycoplasma bovis – two farms, both within the wider Van Leeuwen group of farms. 

For more information on the latest update visit MPI's website.

Latest Update 7/08/2017

There have been no further confirmed positive test results and the situation remains at 2 positive affected farms, both in the VLDG. MPI remains cautious and continues testing. 

For more information on the latest update visit MPI's website.

Update  4/08/2017

Swift and thorough Mycoplasma bovis testing underway

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) continues to build the picture of where the cattle disease Mycoplasma bovis is present, to contain and eradicate if possible.

The Ministry is carrying out extensive and thorough testing to establish where the disease is present, to give farmers and the New Zealand public certainty.

Ministry Director of Response Geoff Gwyn says MPI is implementing surveillance and testing in a planned manner, based on prioritising risks and ensuring rigorous sampling and testing protocols are being followed. 

For the next several months further testing is needed to declare that the neighbouring farms are free of the disease.

For more information on the latest update visit MPI's website.

Update 1/8/2017

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) will be holding another public meeting in the area affected by the Mycoplasma bovis outbreak.  The meeting will provide an update on activities that have taken place since the meeting last week. There will also be an opportunity for questions to the team of experts.

The meeting will take place on Wednesday 2 August, 11.00am in the Papakaio Community Hall, corner of Papakaio Rd and Cameron Rd, behind the school. Waimate Mayor Craig Rowley will M.C the meeting.

Update 28/7/2017

View the latest update from

Update 27/7/2017

The situation remains that the bacterial disease has been confirmed on one property.

MPI has this affected property under legal controls restricting the movement of risk goods such as stock and equipment off the farm.

Measurements taken to minimise risk 

Ministry Director Response, Geoff Gwyn, says MPI is satisfied that these controls contain the disease and manage the risk as it’s currently understood.

“Right now our strategy is to contain the disease and determine the size of the problem through surveillance and testing.  Once we have defined the problem, we can then look at management options which could include area movement controls, selective culling of some stock or long term management measures.

“These decisions have not been made and won’t be until we can make a fully informed judgement.”

MPI is not naming the actual property or farmer involved.

“We are legally obliged to maintain the privacy of the farmer concerned, unless there is a biosecurity need to do otherwise and this is not necessary right now. 

“We are actively tracing all risk materials on and off the affected property over the past six months and contacting anyone who may need to be aware of the situation.  People who may have received potential risk goods from the affected farm will be contacted urgently by us. This is what MPI does in an animal disease situation.”

Help for farmers

MPI has established an office in Oamaru to base its field staff.  Currently Ministry veterinarians are working with local vets to assess stock on the affected farm and manage the situation.

All farmers are encouraged to undertake their standard animal health practices, including talking to their vet if they see signs of ill health in stock.  This is particularly important if farmers find cattle with mastitis that does not respond to treatment, arthritis, pneumonia and late-term abortion.

Mycoplasma bovis does not infect humans and presents no food safety risk.  There is no concern about consuming milk and milk products.

For full information, including biosecurity measures for farms visit