[12 January/Southland Times]

The Ministry for Primary Industries has announced that in response to the Mycoplasma Bovis outbreak in dairy cows milk testing will be conducted nationwide from February.  Milk surveillance has already been commenced in the impacted regions (Southland, Otago and Canterbury) but expanding the programme will provide more information to enable the Ministry to direct the response and develop a national plan.  A spokesperson said the Ministry current focus remains on containing the disease and determining its spread.  In a separate development, three A&P Associations (Southland, Winton and Otago Taieri) have announced that they will not be holding beef and dairy sections at their 2018 shows and while the Ministry had not given specific advice, one official noted that will the risk of spread is very low it is not zero making cancelling the competitions the only option.