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Read the latest M. bovis facts & figures / Weekly Update - 16 October 2020

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National Beef Surveillance

What's the M. bovis National Beef Surveillance plan

A comprehensive National Surveillance programme to assess the extent of the Mycoplasma bovis infection in the New Zealand beef sector involves:

  • a national beef survey
  • sampling at meatworks
  • feedlot testing

Information collected from the outbreak so far indicates that Mycoplasma bovis isn’t present in beef properties outside the known network of infected farms.

  • National Beef Survey

    What's the Mycoplasma bovis National Beef Survey?

    The National Beef Survey for Mycoplasma bovis is part of a comprehensive National Surveillance programme to
    assess the extent of this infection in the New Zealand beef sector.

    Samples are taken for testing at the same time as on-farm TB testing. This is an effective method and reduces disruption to your farming activities.

    Cattle are also being sampled at meat processing plants and a national feedlot.

    While we are confident that M. bovis is not widespread in beef breeding or stud herds in New Zealand, it is very important that we carry out surveillance to make sure and to help provide confidence in the future, that we are free from the disease.

    Why is my herd being tested?

    Herds are not being tested, because we think they are infected.

    We're looking outside the known network of infected farms to confirm that the infection has not become widespread in the beef sector.

    Information collected from the outbreak so far indicates that Mycoplasma bovis isn’t present in beef properties outside the known network of infected farms. Screening of your herd will provide assurance to farmers and the wider beef sector.

    How will testing work?

    A single blood sample is taken from between 50 and 220 cattle during one of two TB testing visits.

    The TB tester collects about 10ml of blood from the tail vein of each eligible animal. The animal’s NAIT tag is scanned at the same time. It’s important the information gathered is accurate, so some extra time is taken during the test to ensure each vial of blood collected matches the animal sampled.

    The TB tester will also ask you some questions about your herd. They will confirm your NAIT number and some details about the number and type of cattle you have on your farm.

    How will the samples be tested?

    The Mycoplasma bovis Programme has partnered with AsureQuality laboratories to ensure that blood samples are tested to a high standard and results are delivered as quickly as possible.

    All samples will be tested using the Mycoplasma bovis ELISA test. This test determines if animals have been exposed to the bacteria. The test is very accurate at determining the status of a group of animals. It isn’t used on an individual animal level.

    When will results be available?

    Results will be available within 14 business days of samples being taken, sooner in most cases. Negative results will be report by email.

    Farmers need to be sure that the TB tester has your current email address.

    The National Beef Survey is a screening test, not a final result. While most farms aren’t expected to return a positive result, some herds will require further testing to confirm their infection status.

    If the blood results indicate further testing is required, you will be contacted by phone within 14 business days.

    What if further test results are positive?

    Farms will enter the Mycoplasma bovis Programme, see our website below for more information.

  • Feedlot testing

    Feedlot testing of incoming cattle will provide additional national surveillance of the beef sector, supplying vital information to help with the eradication programme.

    High volumes of cattle pass through feedlots. Testing cattle on arrival for M. bovis antibodies before they enter the feedlot can increase identification of farms with infected herds.

    Traceability is a key part of managing the spread of M. bovis.

    The M. bovis Programme contact farms detected through the testing and follow-up with on-farm testing to establish disease status.

     

     

     

  • There's still a risk of bringing infection on to your farms. All farmers need to be take steps to protect their herds. See further biosecurity advice.
  • NAIT compliance is a vital part of helping us achieve eradication – please tag every animal, register it into the system, and record every movement between NAIT locations.

 

Farmer tip

If you’re affected by the M. bovis eradication Programme make the most of your professional team. Your vet, bank manager and farm consultant can give you advice and support. They also understand the need to treat this information confidentially. MPI won’t contact any third party organisations about your situation without your consent. You can also find advice & support here.

 

 

Find out more