[18 July/Rural Life]

The Ministry for Primary Industries will carry out a second round of milk testing nationwide to test for Mycoplasma bovis. Under the programme, milk samples from every dairy farm in New Zealand would be taken shortly after the start of calving. Samples would be collected around four weeks following the start of supply. Mycoplasma bovis is difficult to test for as animals could be carrying the bacteria but not showing any evidence of it. Testing at this time of year when cows were in early stages of lactation and under physical stress would yield the most accurate results. Ministry for Primary Industries Director of Response, Geoff Gwyn, said farmers would not have to do anything as samples would be taken as part of the standard on tanker test process. Farmers would receive more information about the testing this week.