Spread of cattle disease to North Island sends shockwaves through NZ farming industry

The discovery of the cattle disease Mycoplasma Bovis is causing shock-waves in the farming industry after it's spread from the South Island and has now been discovered in Hawke's Bay.

It was hoped the disease could be contained but now it's spread is raising concern, and the flow on effects are being felt by many.

The location of the Hawke's Bay farm which has cattle discovered with Mycoplasma Bovis hasn't been revealed, but those you know the farmer say he's been hit hard.

Hawke's Bay Rural Community Board member Nick Dawson says it was news no one in the area expected.  

"It's really a big worry. We thought we were immune to it from the strait. We thought they had it contained in the South Island," Mr Dawson says.

The farmer affected is also reportedly confused about what compensation may be available to him.

"It's a big learning curve for us having the disease up here. One minute you've got no idea, the next minute, you've got it," Mr Dawson says.

After its discovery in South Canterbury in July, Mycoplasma Bovis has been found in a total of 12 farms around the country.

In Southland, the Southern Centre Dairies Operation, owned by the Zeestraten family, is coming to grips with having the disease confirmed on two farms near Winton.

In a statement, the family told 1 NEWS the threat to their cows well-being is devastating.

The cattle disease is also having an impact outside infected properties.

Milton bull breeder Ross Clark has been placed under a restricted movement notice after buying calves from a property which tested positive to the disease.

While his herd have all come back negative, the financial impact has taken its toll.

"There's a bit of stigma with it, I suppose," Mr Clark says.

Mr Clark is concerned attempts to contain the disease isn't working, and the Ministry for Primary Industries admits it doesn't know if Mycoplasma Bovis can be wiped out.

MPI's Director of Readiness and Response, Geoff Gwynn, says the disease is not wanted, "it's not the end of the world".

"All our major trading partners who trade milk and animal products have this disease and they have learnt to live with it," Mr Gwynn says.

The ministry will hold public meetings in Southland and Hawke's Bay next week.

It was hoped Mycoplasma Bovis could be contained but the flow on effects in Southland and the North Island are being felt by many. Source: 1 NEWS