Mycoplasma Bovis - information for people crossing farms

Mycoplasma Bovis

25/10/2018 2:49pm

If you are tramping, cycling or horse trekking across a farm you need to be aware of Mycoplasma bovis. It does not pose any risk to you, but you can take some simple steps to stop it spreading.

Mycoplasma bovis is a bacterium that can cause serious animal welfare conditions in cattle, including mastitis, pneumonia, arthritis, and late-term abortions. Recently it appeared in New Zealand. It is a Notifiable Organism under the Biosecurity Act 1993.

There is no risk to human health and food safety. It is a disease that affects animal welfare and production. It affects only cattle, including dairy cows and beef cattle. Humans cannot contract the disease.

How it spreads

On farm

Mycoplasma bovis mainly spreads from animal to animal through close contact and bodily fluids. Calves can be infected through drinking milk from infected cows. Urine and faeces are not considered transmitters of the disease.

 

Off farm

The disease is known to spread by moving infected cattle from farm to farm. People, horses and vehicles pose very little risk. It is safe for these to move from infected farms to other properties with appropriate permits.

What you can do

You can help farm owners who share their land with you by taking some simple steps to stop the bacteria spreading.

  1. DO NOT interact with cattle if you are walking through mobs of stock.
  2. Follow all instructional notices you come across.
  3. Have clean footwear when you enter a farm and when you reach the boundary, remove any visible mud or effluent before entering the next property.

Information for farmers:

If you have recreationalists on your farm, such as trampers, cyclists or horse trekkers you need them to be aware of Mycoplasma bovis. It does not pose any risk to visitors on your farm, but you can take some simple steps to educate those visiting your farm about your Biosecurity practises around this disease and other pest, plant and animal diseases that may be of risk to your business.

Mycoplasma bovis is a bacterium that can cause serious animal welfare conditions in cattle. Recently it appeared in New Zealand and Ministry of Primary Industries are working on eradication this disease in New Zealand. It is a Notifiable Organism under the Biosecurity Act 1993. You can find more information on Mycoplasma bovis here.

There is no risk to human health and food safety. It is a disease that affects animal welfare and production. It affects only cattle, including dairy cows and beef cattle. Humans cannot contract the disease.

How it spreads

On farm

Mycoplasma bovis spreads from animal to animal through close sustained contact and bodily fluids. Calves can be infected through drinking milk from infected cows. Urine and faeces are not regarded as transmitters of the disease and therefore poses little risk when people are walking through farmland.

Off farm

The disease is known to spread by moving infected cattle from farm to farm. People, horses and vehicles pose very little risk. It is safe for these to move from infected farms to other properties with appropriate permits.

If your farm is of interest at any level to Ministry of Primary Industries there is no reason to stop activity on your property, but now is a good chance to look at your biosecurity measures you have in place and create or reassess your farm plan. Visitors can still safely recreate on your farm as they did previously. For more information please contact the Ministry of Primary Industries at 0800 00 83 33 or Mbovis20017_Liaison@mpi.govt.nz

If Mycoplasma bovis is present on your farm you need to work with the Ministry of Primary Industries to make sure visitors to your farm are aware of the bacteria and know how you are managing this on your farm.

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