26 Jul 2018

M Bovis cow slaughter count hits 30,000

1:45 pm on 26 July 2018

More than 30,000 cows from farms found to be infected with Mycoplasma bovis have now been sent to slaughter.

FOR WATER TAX story - Generic cow

Photo: RNZ / Rebekah Parsons-King

In May, the government announced it would try to eradicate the cattle disease, ordering about 152,000 cows to be culled in a phased programme that is expected to take up to two years.

Mycoplasma bovis can cause lameness, mastitis and abortions in cows, and was first detected by the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) in New Zealand in 2017.

Since then 56 farms have tested positive for the disease and MPI said as of Monday, 32,561 cows from infected properties have been culled.

A Canterbury beef farm near Ashburton with 204 animals and a Hawke's Bay beef farm in Poukawa with 36 animals are the latest properties to be confirmed as having the disease.

"The farms are linked to other known infected properties through animal movements, MPI said in a stakeholder update yesterday.

"Tracing work from these farms is underway."

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