[4 October/Rural Life]

A survey of 200 calf-rearing properties started as the next step in the eradication of Mycoplasma bovis. National Controller, Geoff Gwyn, said the Ministry for Primary Industries started contacting owners of the selected properties this week and the test involved a one-off nasal swab on calves. He added the properties selected were not suspected of having the disease, rather it presented an opportunity to provide further assurance to those farmers. He noted the identified properties had no connection to other properties being tested or at risk. Targeting calf-rearing properties had several benefits. It would capture both animal movements and milk supply, which were the high risk pathways of infection. Targeting farms that sourced calves from at least five different farms means more source farms would obtain assurance they were disease free.