This week we are announcing one new Active Confirmed Property – a dairy farm in Mid-Canterbury.
This dairy farm, which is outside of the Wakanui Controlled Area Notice (CAN), received cattle from an infected property within the zone. It was completing onfarm sampling as a result of a forward trace (cattle from an infected farm during the risk period of likely infection) when a bulk tank milk detect result was identified.
We are carrying out cattle movement tracing and genomic analysis as is standard practice when a property is confirmed infected and we are working closely with the farmer.
It is not unexpected to find another infected property at this stage in the eradication effort. In fact, we can expect to find more as we continue our work. The programme expects that the six currently infected properties will be cleared by early next year.
In light of the recently identified new strain, we have recently stepped up the frequency of our summer bulk tank milk screening from monthly to fortnightly. The strain has not been identified on any other properties and we continue to investigate possible pathways.
The National Beef and Drystock Cattle Surveillance for M. bovis is also part of our comprehensive background surveillance to provide evidence that infection is not widely spread among beef and drystock cattle population.
We are four-and-a-half-years into a 10-year eradication programme, and in a phase where we must work harder to find the remaining pockets of infection. Along with the commitment of farmers, industry, and rural communities, we remain on track to be the first country in the world to eradicate M. bovis.