M. bovis Q&A

We answer some common questions about the measures we are taking to help protect the national herd from M. bovis.

We have extensively tested our bulls and all tests results have been clear (M. bovis not detected).

We have introduced a new daily testing regime where we are testing every semen collection for M. bovis and will confirm the results before semen straws are dispatched to farmers.

The PCR test is highly sensitive and will detect if M. bovis is present in the semen.

The daily semen testing complements our recent introduction of an additional antibiotic into the semen diluent in an effort to further reduce the risk of transmitting M. bovis via semen.

MPI have stated M. bovis is mainly spread between cattle in close contact.

We are confident the robust procedures we have in place for AB will minimise any risk of spreading M. bovis. Every inseminator is protected by a single use disposable sheath so there is no direct contact with the animal. The sheaths are changed between animals. As an additional precaution, inseminators will now be cleaned with isopropyl alcohol wipes between farms.

Yes. We have extensively tested our bulls and all tests results have been clear (M. bovis not detected).

We have also introduced a new daily testing regime where we are testing every semen collection for M. bovis and will confirm the results before semen straws are dispatched to farmers.

We continue to test any new bulls for M. bovis in isolation before they enter the main bull farm.

As M. bovis is mainly spread between cattle in close contact, the best way we can protect our bulls is to continue with our strict animal management and monitoring measures.

We use a PCR (Polymerase chain reaction) test which multiplies distinctive segments of DNA and detects the presence of the bacteria itself. This is the same test that MPI uses.

The PCR test is highly sensitive and will detect if M. bovis is present in a sample.

More information about how we test our bulls.


Yes.

Based on the testing and our strict animal management and monitoring measures, we are confident our bulls are clear from M. bovis, but as a precautionary measure we have added an additional antibiotic to the semen diluents in an effort to further reduce the risk of transmitting M. bovis via semen.

Yes. Our processed semen has been certified for use in organic farming by BioGro since 2011 and they have approved the addition of the antibiotic to target M. bovis.

A specific bull purchased in January 2017 has been involved in an MPI trace. This bull was moved to LIC six months prior to when the herd in question received infected stock. Subsequent testing of this bull and all contacts by MPI and LIC have been clear.

MPI carried out the testing and followed the same protocols that are being followed for every other farm around the country. We were not put under any notice or restriction from MPI due to this as the property was not infected when we purchased the bull and test results confirmed there was no sign of M. bovis in the bull. That is standard MPI practice.