Advice for rural professionals going on farms

On 28 May 2018 the Government and farming sector bodies announced an attempt will be made to eradicate Mycoplasma bovis from New Zealand.

Given that farmer expectations around biosecurity have become heightened by this outbreak, DairyNZ have issued the following advice to help Rural Professionals in engaging with farmers.

It is recommended that Rural professionals consider the following when planning their farm visits:

  • Wherever possible, arrange your visit in advance and do not arrive unannounced.
  • If you must arrive unannounced, go up the main farm track and remain in your vehicle while you try to make contact with a manager/owner by phone.
  • Do not enter the farm property beyond the main farm track without permission.
  • Your vehicle should remain on main farm track, tanker track or house access tracks and should not be taken on to tracks/pastures/areas cattle regularly go.
  • Have clean boots, overalls, and equipment.
  • Many farms will have a cleaning and disinfection station set up for visitors; use this on arrival and departure.
  • If the farm you are visiting does not have a cleaning and disinfection station, have a bucket, boot brush, cleaner and disinfectant in your vehicle so that you can do the job yourself.
    • Remember that disinfection will only work on CLEAN surfaces
    • 0.2% citric acid (1 tsp per 1 Litre of water) is a suitable disinfectant
    • If you prefer, contact your local vet or rural supply store to discuss other disinfectant options
  • Some farms may have personal protective equipment (PPE) that they will ask you to use on their farm, rather than your own.
  • Overall a "clean on-clean off" policy will go a long way to protecting farms.

Please refer farmers to facts from industry and MPI websites ( www.mpi.govt.nz), if there are many rumours of M. bovis infection out there. Most farming practices can continue as normal with some additional thought and minor alterations.

(More information is available on the DairyNZ website www.dairynz.co.nz/mbovis)