Hastings and Southland properties positive for Mycoplasma bovis

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6 years 4 months ago - 6 years 4 months ago #536960 by muri

Ronney wrote: And that Rokker, is exactly right. Not any old Tom, Dick or Harry can import semen for anything at all. IF this came into the country via semen it would have come through one of the livestock genetics co.'s, not some billionaire who is outside the law.

There is much information on this available and the following is only a small part of it but a good place to start before scare-mongering.
www.dairynz.co.nz/media/5788095/mycoplas...local-semen-2017.pdf

Cheers,
Ronnie


I have not set out to scare monger, have merely repeated what I read in the press. I have already indicated I cant verify whether fact or fiction
When I said he imported it, I didnt mean he personally took a trip to China and bought it back, if it was imported via the usual channels it would still have been imported for him, but not necessarily by him.
But the question does need to be asked, how can a single farm, develop a disease that doesnt exist in NZ It is possible we may never find the answer to that question
Last edit: 6 years 4 months ago by muri.

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6 years 4 months ago #536962 by Sue
Scary thought that it is now spreading regardless of the controls in place. Perhaps a case of shutting the proverbial door.

Just to clarify a point raised earlier. Yes you can import semen other than through a genetics company. As long as it complies with the import conditions laid down by MP I. If the disease has not been mentioned as that having to be clear of, then it would be quite likely to come that way.
We have brought in semen from Australia, together with another breeder, direct from the bull breeder. The bull had to pass export standards for the export conditions where he was collected for and for the requirements of our breed society. The semen is then just flown across to wherever it will be stored until used.
So yes, any Tom, Dick or Harry can import semen, and if the disease in question is not on the list, then it could quite easily come in. Especially to such a large operation as this dairy giant.

As an aside, I have spent much of my poultry career dealing with two varieties of Mycoplasma which are specific to poultry. Our breeding stock, imported as embryos, had to be negative, and remain that way all their lives. We blood tested a percentage of every flock every few weeks to ensure they remained negative, practised strict movement and quarantine conditions and yes, if any flocks turned positive the whole farm was culled.

Sue
Labrador lover for yonks, breeder of pedigree Murray Grey cattle for almost as long, and passionate poultry person for more years than I care to count.
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6 years 4 months ago #536963 by Mudlerk
Well, somebody must have imported contaminated feed or vet medicine or equipment or semen or an embryo or even a cow/bull, and put it in contact with that farmer's stock. Wow!...wonder who might have done that. The 'how', though, undoubtedly boils down to 'unintentionally'.
That said, nothing is gained by pointing the finger at one's favourite 'whipping boy,' whether it be civil servants or multimillionaires. That said, I apologise for attacking someone just because I they have a lot of money.

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6 years 4 months ago #536966 by Sue
I've just checked the health requirements for importation of bovine semen and I see Mycoplasma Bovis is one of the requirements for testing negative prior to issue of an importation permit.

Anyone interested can read the full document here mpi.govt.nz/importing/live-animals/semen...mbryos/requirements/

Agree Mudlerk, it certainly started with the aforementioned property, as it seems to be the common link, but just how it got there will perhaps remain a mystery!

I have experience of a truly nationwide similar scare throughout the commercial poultry industry a few years ago. It never got publicised as the birds involved were never actually sick-but it showed up in blood tests all over the place. Gosh, just checked it was back in 1993!

It sure took some tracking down and the links between properties which were followed to try and get the picture took weeks and weeks after the first positive bloods were reported. The disease in question would have decimated the poultry population if it proven to be the real deal. It is still on the exotic disease list, still blood tested for and now is just a bad memory!

At the time it was decided that EVERY commercial poultry shed on every farm would be blood tested every 6 months to ensure they were and remained negative. This continued for several years. These days just the breeding stock is routinely tested but if the disease ever got in to the country it could remain undetected for months on properties-including lifestyle properties where birds are never blood tested, often sickness and mortality is accepted as 'normal' and spread would become too far widespread to stop.

It was assumed this poultry disease came in with an imported vaccine which was used on one particular companies birds. The vaccine was assumed to be contaminated with another disease vaccine other than that for which it was intended.
Once those vaccinated birds were housed alongside birds from a different source, vaccinated with a single disease vaccine-it slowly spread to those, to be picked up as a titre in a blood test.

The links between farms turned out to be major, even though they were thought to be isolated. Visitors are obvious but Meter readers, repair people like electricians, even fertiliser spreaders spreading lime over paddocks where poultry manure had been spread before were all implicated at the start. Then there are feed trucks, egg pick up trucks, processor pick up trucks, owners going too and fro. It was a nightmare for a couple of years until all the pieces of the jig saw come almost together!

Apologies for going on but I do have sympathies with all those decision makers and the criticisms for acting slowly from those outside the situation. Easy to say just cull them. I found it hard enough coping with maybe having to cull flocks of hens-it would be devastating having to cull herds of cows!

Sue
Labrador lover for yonks, breeder of pedigree Murray Grey cattle for almost as long, and passionate poultry person for more years than I care to count.
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6 years 4 months ago #536967 by kate
There's a lot of information about this disease, including some advice on semen in these MPI documents

Mycoplasma bovis FAQs

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Advice on using imported or local semen

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6 years 4 months ago #536968 by Sue
Thanks Kate, heaps of good reading there!

Sue
Labrador lover for yonks, breeder of pedigree Murray Grey cattle for almost as long, and passionate poultry person for more years than I care to count.

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6 years 4 months ago #536974 by cowvet

Sue wrote: Scary thought that it is now spreading regardless of the controls in place. Perhaps a case of shutting the proverbial door.


As I understand it all the infected properties have DIRECT links to animals off the original farming operation ( and the animal movements occurred before the disease was diagnosed and the original property was quarantined). So in that respect I don’t think the infections found elsewhere are unexpected.
So far it’s been spread by DIRECT animal to animal contact.

There is a huge team on this project tracking and testing animals (about 60000 samples to date!). Time will tell how it got here and how widespread it has got.


I love animals...they're delicious
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