The recent outbreak of Mycoplasma bovis in New Zealand has shown how vulnerable our rare breeds of cattle can suddenly become. Please check a website such as wwwdairynz.co.nz for up-to-date information to ensure your cattle are kept as safe as they possibly can from becoming infected.
Thank you to DairyNZ for allowing us to use information on their website wwwdairynz.co.nz to put the following quick guide together.
Quick Guide to Preventing Infection of Your Cattle
What is Mycoplasma bovis?
- Mycoplasma bovis is a bacterial infection that does not respond to treatment with antibiotics. Some conditions can be treated but infected cattle will always be carriers of the disease.
What are the signs of Mycoplasma bovis?
- Infected calves may develop severe pneumonia and/or ear infection.
- Cattle of all ages may develop swollen joints and lameness.
- Cows may have abortions or untreatable mastitis.
- Not all infected cattle show symptoms.
How does Mycoplasma bovis spread?
- Mycoplasma bovis is spread by close contact between animals, such as nose-to-nose contact.
- Calves can become infected by drinking milk from infected cows.
- It is not spread to humans.
- Mycoplasma bovis is NOT wind born.
What can I do to prevent my cattle from being infected?
Thanks to Marina Steinke for putting the above information together.
- Avoid contact between your cattle and cattle from different herds.
- Double fencing so that nose-to-nose contact between herds cannot happen.
- Do not feed unpasteurized fresh milk from a different herd to your calves.
- Avoid moving them between properties if you can.
- Make sure visitors to your farm have clean footwear. If they come from another farm, their footwear can be disinfected with a citric acid solution (1 teaspoon per 1 litre of water) or other disinfectant.
- There is some evidence that goats may be able to be carriers but they don't show symptoms. It is therefore recommended to make sure any goat coming to your property does not come from an infected farm.
- Ensure that all cattle are NAIT tagged so they can be traced.