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A cattle disease prevalent on 100% of New Zealand farms is much more serious than Mycoplasma bovis, a veterinarian says.

Lincoln University Dairy Farm veterinarian Chris Norton told farmers at a recent focus day there that though M. bovis dominates the news, another disease — Johne’s — affects more farms and kills more cattle.

Johne’s was discovered first in Taranaki 100 years ago in one cow, Norton said.

He explained how the farm handles Johne’s disease, the chronic gut infection caused by Mycobacterium avium paratuberculosis (MAP) bacteria.

Usually infecting young cattle, Johne’s may remain hidden for years but leads to lower milk production and difficulty reproducing, then in late stages rapid weight loss, scouring and death, Norton said.

In his five-point strategy, Norton suggests biosecurity and buying low-risk stock to reduce the risk of importing MAP into the herd from high-risk sources. To read the full story please click here.

Source: Rural News Group
22/06/18