Biosecurity

Long term decision on cattle disease eradication planned in next seven days

[21 May/Stuff] Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern met with Waikato farming leaders and will decide within the next week which direction to take to stop the spread of Mycoplasma bovis. The disease has been found in 38 farms. The disease was a blow to Waikato farmers, and Ms Ardern wanted to hear firsthand from those impacted...

First case of cattle disease in North Canterbury found

[9 May/Radio NZ] Mycoplasma bovis was found on a North Canterbury farm, which brought the total number of properties with the disease up to 36. Ministry for Primary Industries Spokesperson, Catherine Duthie, said it was identified through the tracing of animals from known infected farms. She added it did not mean the disease was spreading,...

Cow disease may be in every region: Damien O’Connor

[14 May/NZ Herald] Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor warned that Mycoplasma bovis could be in every region of the country. He said it was the sad reality that other farms would come back as infected. Animals that had been moved to other regions were being tracked and it was possible they would come back as infected...

Popular Waitakere Ranges tracks reopen

[5 May/Radio NZ] Two popular tracks in the Waitakere Ranges were reopened after work to prevent the spread of kauri dieback. Large parts of the ranges were closed as Auckland Council joined local iwi to fight the disease that is fatal to kauri. Two of the tracks had been upgraded to make it harder for...

‘Mycoplasma bovis’ cases still rising

[3 May/Rural Life] In the latest update, the Ministry for Primary Industries confirmed there were 37 farms with the Mycoplasma bovis disease. However, the current number stood at 32 because of recent cullings. There is one North Island location in the Hawke’s Bay. Fifty two properties were under movement restrictions. The update said that the...

M bovis battle: Govt risks ‘burying’ biosecurity problems

[4 May/Radio NZ] Agriculture Minister, Damien O’Connor, wants farmers to pay 40 percent of the $1 billion cost of eradicating Mycoplasma bovis, however National said it was well outside the agreed GIA framework. National Party Agricultural Spokesperson, Nathan Guy, leaked details of the expected costs of different options to deal with the disease, and accused...

‘Hellish’ spread of wild kiwifruit prompts ‘pest’ call from lobby group

[29 April/Stuff] New Zealand kiwifruit growers enjoy some of the best growing conditions in the world, but those conditions look set to bite back. Outbreaks of wild kiwifruit are threatening to carry diseases and harmful insects through the country’s native bush. The spread has caused it to be recognised as a pest. Kiwifruit Vine Health...

Government launches new biosecurity intelligence unit

[30 April/Stuff] The Ministry for Primary Industries has unveiled its future-focused biosecurity intelligence squad. The early waning squad was still in development but would work closely with its Australian counterparts. Biosecurity Minister, Damien O’Connor, said intelligence would be shared with both Australia and industry sectors. Mr O’Connor said the unit would use smarter technology and...

Rabbit virus taking hold, says ORC

[16 April/Rural Life] Tests from samples in Otago indicated deaths have been occurring since the release of the RHDV1 K5 virus. The Otago Regional Council said patience was paying off for landowners who were waiting for the virus to take hold. ORC Director of Environmental Monitoring and Operations, Scott MacLean, said the news was good...

MPI reassures farmers it is working as fast as possible to process cattle disease compo claims

[16 April/NZ Farmer] Thirty properties have tested positive for Mycoplasma bovis and last month the Ministry for Primary Industries decided to cull 22,000 cattle from them. The MPI reassured those farms that they were moving as fast as possible to process compensation claims. MPI Director of Response, Geoff Gywn, said they were yet to receive...

Tests show beef sector so far free of serious disease affecting dairy animals

[1 April/NZ Herald] New Zealand’s beef export sector appeared to be free of Mycoplasma bovis. The Ministry for Primary Industries said there were no positive results from the testing of animals. An MPI spokeswoman said the risk of Mycoplasma bovis was different due to how beef is raised in New Zealand. She added that they...

MPI cattle cull ‘the right thing’

[27 March/Rural Life] The Ministry for Primary Industries announced it would cull 22,332 cattle at sites infected with Mycoplasma Bovis as a tragic necessity. Federated Farmers North Otago Dairy Chairman, Lyndon Strang, said it was the right thing for agriculture and that he hoped the compensation process happened quickly. The government approved $85 million in...

Rare Ornate skink discovery in southern Hawke’s Bay extends creature’s unknown range

[26 March/The Country] An Ornate skink, a rare native skink, was found in southern Hawke’s Bay which extended the creature’s known range. The Horizons Regional Council biodiversity advisor spotted an Ornate skink earlier this year at a farm east of Dannevirke. The skink is widespread throughout the North Island, however previously there was a gap...

Officials to set up Cook Strait checkpoint to stop cattle disease

[23 March/NZ Farmer] To help stop the disease Mycoplasma Bovis travelling to the North Island, cattle crossing the Cook Strait will be checked from Friday. Minister of Agriculture and Biosecurity, Damien O’Connor, said farmers were not complying with their legal obligations under NAIT and that only 57 percent of farmers who record their animal movements...

Myrtle rust found for first time in Manawatu

 [20 March/NZ Herald] The Ministry for Primary Industries confirmed that myrtle rust was detected in Manawatu for the first time. Myrtle Rust Response Spokesperson, Dr Catherine Duthie, said action would start immediately to contain the disease. She hoped that it was found early enough so that there was a chance to eliminate it. Dr Duthie...

Ministry for Primary Industries estimates the Mycoplasma bovis outbreak could cost $95m

[1 March/The Country] Tracking and tracing the spread of Mycoplasma bovis and compensating farmers could cost about $95 million according to the Ministry for Primary Industries. MPI Director of Readiness and Response, Geoff Gwyn, said the disease has been confirmed at 26 properties which are part of the 43 properties under a restricted place notice....

US veterinarian downplays Mycoplasma bovis risk

[5 March/Rural Life] Dr Paul Detloff of the large United States dairy cooperative, Organic Valley Dairies, said Mycoplasma bovis should not damage dairy profitability. Dr Detloff added that he saw farmers who did not have Mycoplasma bovis in their cows despite being surrounded by infected farms. He emphasised the importance of optimal nutrition for production...

Fourth stink bug infested ship ordered from NZ

[28 February/Radio NZ] A fourth Japanese ship has been turned away from New Zealand for having the brown marmorated stink bug on board. Six hundred of the bugs were found on the Glovis Caravel while the ship was anchored near Auckland. The Ministry for Primary Industries said the risk was too high for the ship...

Fears for seed industry after red clover moth found nationwide

[26 February/Radio NZ] After being discovered in Auckland two years ago, the red clover casebearer moth has been found in pheromone traps at the bottom of the South Island which has led researchers to believe is has been in the country for around ten years. According to the Seed Research Manager for the Foundation of...

MPI urged to stand firm on hitchhiking stink bugs

[21 February/Otago Daily Times] Efforts were in place at the PrimePort Timaru to repel to marmorated stink bug. More than 100 of these bugs were found on a vessel carrying motor vehicles from Japan. It was re-routed to Australia as no port in New Zealand had the capacity to fumigate it. Federated Farmers Biosecurity Spokesman,...

Minister blasts NAIT

[20 February/Rural News] According to Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor, National Animal Identification and Tracing (NAIT) clearly hasn’t worked as it should have. He brought this up because of the recent Mycoplasma bovis outbreak which has caused problems across the board. Mr O’Connor said that he doesn’t blame farmers as there is a lack of clear...

Japanese shipment full of ‘stink bugs’ a biosecurity risk

[15 February/The Country] Federated Farmers has called on the Ministry for Primary Industries to hold firm on a shipment which had been previously turned away from the Ports of Auckland. The ship was deemed a biosecurity risk after over 100 brown marmorated stink bugs were found. It was carrying vehicles from Japan and has subsequently...

Mycoplasma bovis: Number of infected properties rises to 23

[9 February/The Country] Twenty-three farms have now been found to be infected with the cattle disease Mycoplasma Bovis. The latest two were in Southland and South Canterbury. The Ministry for Primary Industries said all infected properties were under quarantine controls. The Ministry reiterated that all detections to date were linked to the original infected properties...

Farmer compensation for cattle disease to cost over $100m: Nathan Guy

[9 February/NZ Farmer] According to the National Primary Industries’ spokesman, Nathan Guy, compensation for farmers who were affected by the Mycoplasma bovis cattle disease could exceed $100 million. However, Mr Guy added that farmers would likely be told to learn to live with the disease once the Cabinet had decided their spending priorities. He noted...