Protecting the national herd from Mycoplasma bovis

We are taking all measures possible to protect the national herd from Mycoplasma bovis and continue to comply with all MPI directives.

More than 99% of the country’s dairy herds have no signs of this disease, and we too want to keep it that way.

We are confident the procedures we have in place will protect our bulls from the disease and effectively manage any risk of transmission by our staff or equipment. For added safety, our procedures are heightened in times of potential disease outbreak.

We want you to be fully informed about where we stand on this so you can have confidence in your co-op.

Protecting our bulls from M. bovis is critical to us and critical to the dairy industry:

  • We have done extensive testing and haven’t found any sign or indication of M. bovis in our bulls or semen.
  • All LIC bulls commercially available for AI were tested for M. bovis in March/April this year (2018) and all were clear. This followed testing in September last year which was all clear too.
  • We continue to routinely test semen. New bulls are tested in isolation before they enter the main LIC bull farm.
  • The testing is the same as MPI is using. No test is 100 per cent, but based on the testing and their lifetime isolation status we are confident our bulls are clear from M.bovis.
  • 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 isolation, quarantine and monitoring measures.
  • Adding more antibiotics to the semen diluent is an option but as their effect on M. bovis is questionable, at this stage we believe a combination of testing, strict quarantine measures and stock management/monitoring is the best way we can protect our bulls.

We are making changes to the way we work as a result of M. bovis:

  • All LIC field staff have been issued with heightened hygiene protocols for all farm visits and will comply with any additional biosecurity requirements for your farm.
  • We won’t turn up unannounced. If a visit from LIC is not expected, we will contact you prior.
  • Staff are also being issued with disinfection kits, so they can wash their boots, clothing, equipment and vehicle upon arrival and departure.
  • If we visit or service properties deemed a ‘restricted place’ by MPI, any clothing and/or equipment will not be worn or used on any other property.
  • All herd testing equipment will now be returned to LIC to be disinfected between farms.
  • We are reviewing all procedures for herd testing and AB ahead of the peak season with a view to further heighten our protocols. 

We also encourage you to:

  • Practice good on-farm biosecurity. MPI and DairyNZ have some good tips to help with this.
  • Tell us if you are under any notice from MPI.
  • Continue to record animal movements in MINDA.
  • Contact us if you have any concerns about LIC staff or equipment.
  • Contact our FarmWise Consultants to assist with any compensation claims.  

For more information about M. bovis please visit the MPI website.

We have done extensive testing and haven’t found any sign or indication of M. bovis in our bulls or semen.

All current production bulls were tested for M. bovis in March/April this year (2018) and were clear. This followed testing in September 2017 which was also clear

We continue to routinely test semen and test any new bulls for M. bovis in isolation before they enter the main LIC 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 isolation and quarantine measures. After initial isolation and testing, all bulls are under strict lifetime quarantine.

We believe a combination of our testing regime, strict quarantine measures and stock management / monitoring practices is the best way we can keep our bulls free from this disease.

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.

Due to the nature of M. bovis, no test is 100% accurate but based on the testing and their quarantine status, we are confident our bulls are clear from 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.

We added an extra antibiotic to the semen diluent for a short period in Spring 2017 while our bulls were being tested for M. bovis but this has now been removed as the test results were clear. 

At this stage we believe a combination of testing, strict quarantine measures and stock management/monitoring is the best way we can protect our bulls.