mycoplasma bovis...

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5 years 11 months ago #539868 by Ruth
Replied by Ruth on topic mycoplasma bovis...

Ramsay wrote: Hi
Ruth...I think I read on your site that you run a "Closed" farm...might not be the correct word for it.
But you keep your farm as separate from outside influences as you can.

Can you gives us a quick run down of what procedures you have in place ?



Hi Richard, yes, I have a closed herd in that it is many years since I brought any animals in to this property from another herd.
There are some potential holes in the system that I will detail shortly but to start with the primary preventative measure is that all boundaries where there are ever stock on the other side have a top and middle hot-wire to discourage animals from the other side pushing through or going over. On our side there are two-wire internal electric fences on all those boundaries. MPI advise a 2m distance but in most cases ours are only 1m. The four electric wires and gap prevent any actual nose-to-nose contact but may not be sufficient to distance our animals from a sneezing/coughing animal facing them. I'm betting the chance of that is reasonably low and potentially 2m wouldn't be enough in that case anyway.

The holes in the system are usually caused by other people's actions that we don't predict or can't stop: a lone heifer spent a winter in our bush reserve, so had fenceline access to all my herd because of course my bush reserve wasn't double fenced. The boundary with that property has now been replaced. But there's still potential for wanderers in the DoC reserve to get into ours ... Unlikely but possible.

We have to cross a public road to get to a couple of our paddocks and our driveway of course comes directly off that road. We have a neighbour who does not own sufficient land for his herd and frequently walks his cattle up the road to other grazing. Thus we have the potential for shit-tracking into our place from the road on tyres. We move our animals across the road only when there has been no other animal traffic in recent days. I have been known to shovel shit from near our driveway, as a risk-reduction strategy. A foot/wheel-wash at the gateway would be marvellous but imagine the cost and practicalities!

I now have a sign on my gate that attempts to prevent entry by anyone who has driven straight off the neighbour's dairy farm and his shitty raceway. It asks that anyone with shit on their wheels or boots phone me for access, rather than coming in through the gate. It may seem unfriendly (although polite) but the risk to what I love doing is too high not to ask for that consideration. Any farm visitor's boots are either brought clean, cleaned here, or they borrow a pair from our gumboot library.

All the road-side gates are now chained and padlocked. Initially that was because someone once put a stray bull off the road into my paddock of young heifers. He was obviously an idiot but if there are idiots about, locks to stop them being problematic are a good idea.

These are all risk-reduction strategies; they can never eliminate all risk.

My primary concern until now has been BVD because of its potential harm to my breeding system and I don't want to have to vaccinate for it. But there are numerous other infectious nasties cattle can pass amongst themselves that I'd rather not have to deal with. I have long been aware, since starting farming a little before the whole horrible FMD event in the UK, that it is likely to be some disease we don't even know is around, that will get in when we're not looking and M.bovis proves that point. Theileria has also come since I began taking care and we, so far, do not have that.

All breeding here is done with "essence of bull" in frozen plastic straws (which might potentially carry some small risk in the case of M.bovis) or by bulls born of AI from my pedigree cows.

Lastly, in the case of BVD as that's probably the biggest risk as a silent infection, is periodic testing to ensure there's not been an incursion somehow. I test the yearling bulls each year, to ensure they haven't had contact with BVD and are not PI. Periodically I do a test of a sample of the rest of the herd, to check for BVD antibodies.
After the heifer in the bush incident, I tested a number of the herd, primarily anyone who'd had unexplained problems and a number more; all were fortunately clear. At that stage I also tested the senior bull and he being clear gives me great confidence that everyone else is too, since he's had contact with most of the cows at various times.
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5 years 11 months ago #539875 by max2
Replied by max2 on topic mycoplasma bovis...
We also run a hot wire inside our shared boundary fence lines and over recent years have found one neighbour attaching their tape to partition off their individual internal strip grazing without permission. I cannot stress highly enough and hopefully this just relates to one or two individuals in our immediate area, trying to get neighbours or their graziers to install hotwire either permanent or temporary is an absolute nightmare.

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5 years 11 months ago #539892 by Ramsay
Replied by Ramsay on topic mycoplasma bovis...
Hi
Thanks for that info Ruth.
I suppose if one was getting weaners in ever year then that sort level of precaution wouldn't work.

Because think of all the different beasts that have and are using the same transport truck your weaners are on.

Lots of things to think about there.
Thanks
Richard

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5 years 11 months ago #539893 by Ruth
Replied by Ruth on topic mycoplasma bovis...
Yes, that's a problem, although the trucks used to transport the known or suspect infected animals are currently under strict cleaning protocols. Perhaps we'll all end up permanently paying more for trucking, if higher cleaning protocols are introduced as normal practice.

M.bovis is apparently a fairly fragile bacterium, having a very limited life outside its host. Most important would be understanding how risky your calf vendor's operation is.

I suspect we're going to have to live with it and I think it's going to ramp up the cost of farming considerably, even for those of us not directly affected.

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5 years 11 months ago #539894 by Ruth
Replied by Ruth on topic mycoplasma bovis...

max2 wrote: We also run a hot wire inside our shared boundary fence lines and over recent years have found one neighbour attaching their tape to partition off their individual internal strip grazing without permission. I cannot stress highly enough and hopefully this just relates to one or two individuals in our immediate area, trying to get neighbours or their graziers to install hotwire either permanent or temporary is an absolute nightmare.

I learnt some years ago that expecting others to behave responsibly was just a hiding to nowhere. Thus we undertook our own double-fencing projects to reduce risk as much as possible. It matters to me, doesn't to them. They don't care if their animals get in with mine; no skin off their noses. I'm much more relaxed these days with excellent fences in place.
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5 years 11 months ago #539896 by Mudlerk
Replied by Mudlerk on topic mycoplasma bovis...
My favourite poem is Mending Wall, by Robert Frost. The old fella keeps saying "Good fences make good neighbours."
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5 years 11 months ago #539901 by Jaybee
Replied by Jaybee on topic mycoplasma bovis...

VioletFarmer wrote: Its very disappointing that since last June, when the first announcement was made about M.bovis..... that many basic bio security measures were not instated immediately on the initial farms. And as far as I'm concerned, if all animal movements had been correct & ticketty boo re: NAIT, the 38 confirmed positive farms should have been traced & on lock down within 48 hours. They all have 'links' to either the Van leuwin properties or those 2 in southland- so they should have had them like Fort Knox until testing was completed. Too slow off the mark M.P.I, and too slow and ineffective or non existent use by 'some' of the farms/ farmers involved. The fines for non compliance re: NAIT are a joke- I read last week there have been less than a dozen fines handed out in the entire existence of NAIT. I am still hopeful we can eradicate it, but everyone involved needs to pull finger and ramp up the cull. Have beef farmers/ finishers even been tested yet? Its nearly 12 months since we heard about this initial positive result...... imagine if it had been BSE (mad cow) :(


Keith Woodford has been writing very good articles that are being posted on interest.co.nz, and he is answering questions as well. Well worth a look.

According to him it has probably been here for a while, possibly as early as 2014. Where MPI have gone wrong is not in failing to forward trace where cattle have gone and lock down known infected farms, because they've done those things, but they should also have been back tracing where cattle on the infected farms have come from - it is likely the infections are far more wide-spread than originally thought. Also according to him "farmer non-compliance" is being used as an excuse - they are on the hunt for scapegoats.

It seems that feeder calf sales and feeding of reject milk to calves are very high risk activities and the main way it's been spreading.

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5 years 11 months ago #539922 by Sue
Replied by Sue on topic mycoplasma bovis...
This map was posted on our MG breed Society facebook page this week.
The map is dated 10th May. Scary stuff!


The code for the map is ;
IP ( Infected properties) -the dark red blobs
RP (Properties under restricted place notice)-dark beige blobs
Current NOD-(properties under notice of direction)-dark orange blobs
NOD to issue (properties under consideration for a notice of direction)- light orange blobs
Forward traces- (properties identified as risk through the tracing of animal movements.) blue blobs

I think since this, the Cambridge property which was under surveillance because of a traced movement and which had previously tested negative has since turned positive making 39.

When you see how, with even the tracing of movements from suspect properties around the country you can see the magnitude of the problem! That is without the problem of all the movements which might have taken place with no NAIT history to follow it up!

I have followed this thread with interest and recently have had a discussion with someone closely linked to MPI as to a possible source. Seems the strain is unusual. There has been suggestion it came via vaccine/semen or embryos-possibly privately brought to NZ-not saying smuggled at this point. There have evidently been raids on some properties!

That aside I have had dealings with the spread of an exotic poultry disease which arrived in NZ via a vaccine- and was slow to spread, caused a reaction in a blood test but didn't cause actual disease symptoms so the birds which reacted were healthy. It was eventually eradicated when the suspect farms were culled at the natural end of a flock. Birds which re populated those sheds were blood tested 6 monthly for a number of years (different flocks of course) This disease (Infectious Bursal disease or IBD) is present in nearly every other country in the world hence lots of vaccines used and the possibility of an imported vaccine being a combination of several viruses either intentionally or just contaminated can bring it in. Just one of the methods that a disease can enter if you only have the manufacturers word as to what is in the bottle-very hard to blame MPI or customs.

I have also been closely associated with two poultry strains of Mycoplasma as well. Regular (6 weekly) blood testing of all breeding flocks to ensure they are free, and culling when/if they get infected! Strict entry protocol to breeding sheds-showers and change of all clothes and boots, strict rodent protocols etc. These would be company owned breeding stock. Most of the lifestyle poultry flocks would test positive for at least one of not both of these Mycoplasmas right now!

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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5 years 11 months ago - 5 years 11 months ago #539934 by max2
Replied by max2 on topic mycoplasma bovis...
I emailed our vet to seek advice for the coming calving season. She replied they have not been told who the affected farms are (blue dotted area) and that all dairy farms had to provide milk samples for testing a couple of months ago, and at this stage, are still waiting for the results.

They have a vet who has been involved with the outbreak coming to speak to them in a couple of weeks and hope to be able to better advise by then.... am I the only one wondering why its not MPI giving forward direction and why does it take so long for these milk sample tests to be made known?
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5 years 11 months ago #539935 by Ruth
Replied by Ruth on topic mycoplasma bovis...
Privacy Act crap, partly. Have a look at any of the reports and see how much info is redacted.

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5 years 11 months ago #539936 by Stikkibeek
Replied by Stikkibeek on topic mycoplasma bovis...
When I had my cow milk tested about 6 weeks ago, the lab was just starting to get milk samples in for testing for MPB. You need to know they get something like 250000 milk samples daily and from every farm in NZ, 3 vials from each farm and that it covers the whole of the dairy industry in NZ. Adding MPB to the mix is bound to slow the processing of samples down, especially if a suspect herd test then has to go to individual cows.

Did you know, that what you thought I said, was not what I meant :S
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5 years 11 months ago #539939 by max2
Replied by max2 on topic mycoplasma bovis...

Stikkibeek wrote: When I had my cow milk tested about 6 weeks ago, the lab was just starting to get milk samples in for testing for MPB. You need to know they get something like 250000 milk samples daily and from every farm in NZ, 3 vials from each farm and that it covers the whole of the dairy industry in NZ. Adding MPB to the mix is bound to slow the processing of samples down, especially if a suspect herd test then has to go to individual cows.


Thanks for the feedback Stikki. Can I assume you supply to Fonterra? Would receiving that volume of milk samples with limited staff/means make them ''out of date'' (for want of a better expression) because of the huge demand for testing?

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5 years 11 months ago #539941 by bev
Replied by bev on topic mycoplasma bovis...
If you look up anexa vets on facebook, they have just put out a little video answering some questions
all i can say is dont beleive all of what you read from the media, and certainly dont beleive everything on facebook, especially on those farming pages.
Everyday i visit 3-4 farms daily .. and i dont have to wear a space suit yet, and i probably wont need to.
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5 years 11 months ago #539942 by bev
Replied by bev on topic mycoplasma bovis...
just Re the milk samples, only a few labs are set up to do the actual tests, and can not test frozen samples
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5 years 11 months ago #539948 by Stikkibeek
Replied by Stikkibeek on topic mycoplasma bovis...

max2 wrote:
Thanks for the feedback Stikki. Can I assume you supply to Fonterra? Would receiving that volume of milk samples with limited staff/means make them ''out of date'' (for want of a better expression) because of the huge demand for testing?

They are air freighted in fresh but chilled each day.
No, I don't supply Fonterra. The lab is driven by very sophisticated robots. Every milk sample collected from the farm has a microchip in the bottom of the vial which is unique to each farm, but not known to the lab staff. They wouldn't be able to get through all those daily samples by human labour alone. It's a fascinating place. They routinely test for milk solids, fat content, antibiotics, somatic cell counts and other nasties in the milk. They can tell if a farmer has had the garden hose in his vat and, now MPB. They will also test now for A2A2 and individual samples if requested. LIC and MINDA testing for individuals also go through here.

Did you know, that what you thought I said, was not what I meant :S
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