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At last week’s NZVA conference in Hamilton, Dr Amy Burroughs, who is a Principal Epidemiologist for the Mycoplasma bovis (M. bovis) Eradication Programme, received the Veterinary Impact Award 2021 for her work on bulk tank milk (BTM) screening for the Programme.

Critical to the Programme’s success has been the network and background surveillance work we do, which includes BTM screening. The BTM screening takes regular samples from every lactating dairy farm that provides milk to New Zealand’s commercial milk supply. BTM screening will play a fundamental role in clearing any remaining pockets of infection, as well as gathering the evidence needed to eventually declare eradication.

M. bovis Disease Control Manager Ed Thirkell says, ‘’Amy has made a significant contribution to the Programme by providing valuable strategic expertise and guidance – the importance of BTM screening should not be underestimated.”

Chief Veterinary Officer, Mary van Andel says, ‘’Amy demonstrates enthusiasm through her calm and thoughtful way of working. Expertly identifying ways to build relationships with public and private veterinarians and industry, to ensure we are ready for challenges that may emerge in the future. She is richly deserving of this award.’’

Amy, who relocated to New Zealand to help develop the Programme’s BTM screening, says it was an honour to receive the award. “I had the incredible opportunity of relocating to New Zealand from Australia in 2019 to work on designing, maintaining, and optimising BTM screening for M. bovis. It’s been a real team effort across the Programme and I am extremely grateful to play a part in this world-first eradication effort.’’

Programme Director Simon Andrew says, “A huge congratulations to Amy for this award, which acknowledges her hard work and dedication. Amy shows passion for New Zealand’s collective ability to respond to disease incursions. She is deeply respected by all of us in the Programme, industry and our colleagues in Biosecurity New Zealand.”

Several presentations were made at the conference that included information on M. bovis eradication and Biosecurity New Zealand, including:

  • Find, contain, control (Mycoplasma bovis), Amy Burroughs, M. bovis Eradication Programme
  • M. bovis, John Alawneh, M. bovis Eradication Programme
  • Note: Protecting your patch: what veterinarians can do to help farmers improve their
    biosecurity, Will Halliday, Beef + Lamb New Zealand