MPI has yet to confirm who brought in M. bovis

Rural Exchange 07/04/2018

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) released a report by a Technical Advisory Group (TAG) looking into its Mycoplasma bovis response and the disease’s initial route into New Zealand.

The report contains reference to possible legal breaches in relation to how the disease entered the country.

Geoff Gwyn, MPI Director of Readiness and Response, told Rural Exchange MPI has not yet determined the likely source of the disease.

“We have no conclusive evidence that indicates one pathway over another,” he said in response to rumours that came into the country via a veterinarian company.

While references to potential legal breaches have largely been retracted from the report, MPI says it is unable to release these until those matters were sufficiently examined by compliance investigators.

The report also finds that while eradication of the disease remains technically possible, it will be difficult, time consuming and costly.

But MPI’s Director of Readiness and Response assured Rural Exchange that eradication is “still a possible outcome”.

In March, MPI announced another cull to prevent the cattle disease from spreading, with over 22,000 cattle to be included in the round.

Mr Gwyn said that MPI’s capacity to complete the massive slaughter is not an issue, but the cull time frame will depend on each farmer’s individual circumstances. 

Watch the full interview with Geoff Gwyn above.

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