Animal Health

Animal health: Intensive winter grazing concerns vets

[18 July / The Country] The New Zealand Veterinary Association has said that modern farming has no place for winter grazing practices that compromise animal health. Chief veterinary officer Dr Helen Beattie commented that the industry needs to take a second look at practices, and when animal health isn’t protected solutions must be found that...

Speak up on proposed animal welfare rules

(9 July/Rural News) The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) commented that New Zealand needs higher animal welfare standards to protect our global reputation as our animal or animal product exports reach $28.6 billion in 2018. The changes that the MPI want are in regards to Animal Welfare Act of 1999. The area of significant surgical...

Group aims to help farmers improve ‘M.bovis’ response

(8 July/Rural Life) The first meeting of the Waimate/Waitaki Mycoplasma Bovis Advisory Group was held last Wednesday. The group has been formed to support the Ministry for Primary Industries M.bovis eradication plan. The group includes two mayors, farmers, ministry representatives, Federated Farmers, the Rural Support Trust, and an independent veterinarian. A spokesperson for the group...

Pork imports from countries hit by swine fever ‘must be stopped’

(8 July/Stuff) The Ministry for Primary Industries has no plans to stop imports of pork from countries affected by African Swine Fever (ASF) despite warnings from The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation. So far the incurable disease has seen more than 1.1 million animals culled in attempt to stop the spread. Kiwi farmers have...

Quarter of dairy herd dies near Cambridge after rapid grass growth pushes up nitrate levels

(2 July/Stuff) Approximately one quarter of a dairy herd near Cambridge are believed to have died of nitrate poisoning. Surviving cows were also affected, leading to abortions of calves. Waikato Hauraki Coromandel Rural Support Trust has been supporting the sharemilkers impacted and reported there had been numerous other cases around the country this year. Nitrogen...

Government may ban live cattle exports

[11 June/Stuff NZ] Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor states a conditional ban on the live export of cattle is one of several options being considered as part of a review of the trade in live animals. Live cattle exports were worth $30 million last year for the country. Hon. O’Connor reports that live cattle exports may...

Pork imports from disease-affected Poland more than double in a month

[10 June/Stuff NZ] Poland has increased its exports to New Zealand by more than double, just as it has been confirmed pigs on a farm there have been found to have African Swine Fever. In April, Poland exported 307 tonnes to New Zealand up from 159 tonnes a month before. The discovery has alarmed the...

BVD could be gone by Christmas

[31 May/Farmers Weekly] Bovine Viral Diarrhoea researchers are struggling to get farmers on board with The BVD Free Challenge, designed to help understand the disease. This is despite researchers offering a generous prize of $4,000 to those who can prove they are trying to manage it. The disease is estimated to cost farmers $150 million...

Toxin 1080 killed 90 per cent of deer, new Molesworth study finds

[March 27/Stuff NZ] A study into the use of toxin 1080, found that it killed 90 percent of deer in just two separate operations in the South Island. The first study occurred at Marlborough’s Molesworth Station in October 2017, and the second at Timaru Creek near Lake Hawea. At Timaru Creek deer mortality was between...

SPCA call for ban on 1080 over animal welfare issues challenged by Forest & Bird

[8 January/NZ Herald] The SPCA is calling for a ban on pest control poison 1080 over concerns about animal welfare. The poison, sodium fluoroacetate, commonly known as 1080, is mixed into baits as a way to control the numbers of a range of mammalian species, particularly in possums and rats. The SPCA called for greater...

Best primary sector employers announced

[28 November/Rural News Group] The best primary sector employers have been celebrated at the MPI AGMARDT Primary Industries Good Employer Awards. Woodville Dairy farmers, Nicky and Ben Allomes were presented with the inaugural supreme award. The Allomes, owners and directors of Hopelands Dairies Ltd, scooped the supreme Minister’s Awards at the awards function held at...

Farmed animal antibiotic sales up but the nasties for humans down

[28 November 2018/NZ Herald] A new report from the Ministry for Primary industries on New Zealand sales of antibiotics for animals and plants that ultimately affect human health provides mixed news on progress on managing the use of these drugs. The report indicates that antibiotic sales via veterinary medicines and agricultural chemicals rose 8 per...

Shortage of vets a cause for concern for rural and urban areas

[18 November/Stuff] A national shortage of vets has New Zealand’s rural sector on high alert. Rural veterinary practices are finding it tough to fill vacant roles, impacting the availability of services to farmers and in MPI’s view putting biosecurity surveillance at risk. Miles Anderson, Federated Farmers meat and wool industry group chair, noted that a...

Bovis fears after wandering cows placed with farmer’s heifers

[1 October/The Country] Federated Farmers Northland President, John Blackwell, said a ho-hum attitude to wandering stock highlighted ignorance around biosecurity. The Northland Council found cows wandering, and placed them in a nearby paddock without telling the property owner. The farmer noticed his own heifers socialising with the lost stock. Mr Blackwell added that was unacceptable...

Hope new govt programme stops spread of mycoplasma bovis

[9 April/The Country] Agriculture and Biosecurity Minister, Damien O’Connor announced an initiative in March to track cattle movements across the Cook Strait to prevent the spread of Mycoplasma bovis. Mr O’Connor said the previous government’s failure to enforce the National Animal Identification and Tracing Scheme promoted poor farming practices and compromised the response to the...

Rabbits, rabbits everywhere- could we have found a solution?

[26 March/NZ Farmer] The rabbit haemorrhagic disease (RHD) was re-released to curb the growing wild rabbit population. It was previously released in 1997, however after 20 years its effect was decreasing. Farmers are generally relieved by the news, and some were desperate according to Mackenzie Country Runholder, Andrew Simpson. He said the timing was critical...

Application made for rabbit control disease

[7 November/ Farmers Weekly] The Ministry for Primary Industries has received an application for RHD-K5- a new Korean strain of the rabbit killing rabbit haemorrhagic disease released in 1997. MPI Audit, Assurance and Monitoring Systems Director Allan Kinsella said the MPI would consider the benefits to the agricultural sector and identification and management of risks...

Mycoplasma bovis could be linked with highly mechanised farming – MPI

[21 October/New Zealand Herald] At a public meeting to discuss the response to the recent cattle disease Mycoplasma bovis outbreak, Ministry of Primary Industries Technical Liaison Officer Victoria Barrell says there seems to be a link between highly mechanised dairy farming and the disease. The recent outbreak will result in about 4000 dairy cattle being...

Cows kept afloat for hour before rescued from water tank north of Gisborne

[26 September/ New Zealand Herald] Two cows were able to keep afloat for one hour inside a water tank before emergency officers rescued them. The cows got into their predicament after walking on top of a water tank in Ormond which collapsed under their weight. New Zealand Fire and Emergency officers had to forcefully create...

LIC will test its bulls for mycoplasma bovis as farmers prepare cows for mating

[14 September/ NZ Farmer] Livestock improvement Corporation (LIC) has announced it would test its artificial breeding bulls for the cow disease mycoplasma bovis. The announcement came after the Ministry for Primary Industries advised dairy farmers to ask suppliers if their bulls had been tested. LIC Biological Systems General Manager, Richard Spelman said the corporation had...

Mycoplasma bovis: Why the farmers aren’t being named

[1 September/ New Zealand Herald] Despite complaints, the Ministry for Primary Industries refuses to name the farmers whose livestock is infected with Mycoplasma bovis. Ministry for Primary Industries Chief Operating Officer Roger Smith said the disease is a significant issue and the law inhibits the Ministry from releasing such information. Mr Smith added the Government...

New mycoplasma bovis infections ‘entirely expected pattern’

[30 August/ NZ Herald] Six farms have been affected by mycoplasma bovis including two further Van Leeuwen Dairy Group farms and a lifestyle block near Rangiora. The Ministry for Primary Industries said more infections were expected, and the last three infected properties were an expected pattern as they had links to the existing infected properties...

MPI refuses to identify Otago farm affected by cattle disease

[25 August/The Country] Despite the announcement that the Ministry for Primary Industries believes the Mycoplasma Bovis disease is present on a third farm in Otago they have refused to identified the farm. The farm is said to have close connections to the two Van Leeuwen Dairy Group farms that have had the disease detected. A...

Confidence outbreak contained

[17 August/Otago Daily Times] Ministry for Primary Industries officials have updated farmers in South Canterbury on the Mycoplasma Bovis outbreak, which was detected on two Van Leeuwen Dairy Group farms near Waimate in July. It was the first detection of the disease in New Zealand although it is present in many other regions around the...