The bacterial cattle disease Mycoplasma bovis has been found on a farm in the Ashburton area.

Ministry for Primary Industries response incident controller David Yard said milk sampling done just before Christmas revealed a suspected positive result and MPI’s Animal Health Laboratory testing had just confirmed it.

“The affected farm and an associated property have been under controls since Christmas Eve as a precautionary measure.

“No animals or other risk goods such as used farm equipment have been allowed on or off the property during this time and these controls stand,” Yard said.

There has been no sign of any illness in any of the about 600 animals on the property.

Yard said MPI is now tracing animal movements on and off the farm to determine if there are links to other affected properties.

It will now check and test some 30 other farms that have had some association with the new affected property.

“Farmers in the area who have had some connection with the affected property will be contacted and those who do not hear from us in the next couple of weeks should consider they are under no increased risk from this most recent detection.

“However, if they have concerns or questions they can contact us on 0800 00 83 33 or by emailing”

MPI was also continuing tests on another Ashburton area farm that had previously returned inconclusive results. As yet, that farm is not regarded as positive though it is under controls just in case.

Planning was under way for two public meetings in Methven and Ashburton on Thursday January 11 to outline the situation.

The number of infected properties now stands at 14 – nine in South Canterbury, three in Southland, one at Ashburton and one in Hawke’s Bay.