Mycoplasma bovis
Jersey cows


Mycoplasma bovis

The New Zealand Veterinary Association (NZVA) is supporting veterinarians to help farmers respond to the detection of Mycoplasma bovis in Canterbury, Southland and Hawkes Bay.

Find resources for veterinarians and links to updates on the response below.

What is Mycoplasma bovis?

Mycoplasma bovis is a bacterium that causes illness in cattle, including udder infection (mastitis), abortion, pneumonia, and arthritis.

In July 2017, the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) detected the bacterial infection Mycoplasma bovis in cattle at a South Canterbury dairy farm. This was the first time it has been found in New Zealand.

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) has assured the public that the infection cannot be passed on to humans and that it presents no food safety risk. MPI have stated that there is no concern about consuming milk and milk products from affected cattle.

Farmers should call their veterinarian if they suspect their cattle are showing any of the clinical signs of the disease. These can include:

  • Mastitis in dry and milking cows.
  • Arthritis in cows.
  • Late term abortions.
  • Premature calves.


Recently added

February 2018

  • Industry advice document
    Reduce the risk of Mycoplasma bovis: Advice on managing dairy farm changeovers in June/July 2018
  • Meeting: MBovis surveillance programme
    Communication from the NZVA to members of the Society of Dairy Cattle Veterinarians and the Society of Sheep and Beef Cattle Veterinarians branches.
  • Member update
    There have been changes to the way MPI are communicating information on Mycoplasma bovis which has impacted on how we update members on developments.

January 2018

Recently added info for veterinarians

Ministry for Primary Industries response alerts
Information for the public on the disease, the response, what farmers should look out for, and who to contact for more information. You can subscribe to updates on the MPI website.

If you have any concerns about your animals, contact your vet as soon as possible for advice or call MPI on 0800 80 99 66.

Dairy and beef industry advice and guidance specific to Mycoplasma bovis
Information for farmers prepared by the NZVA Society of Dairy Cattle Veterinarians, Beef + Lamb New Zealand and DairyNZ.

Mycoplasma bovis - what to look out for
Clinical signs poster for farmers.

Protect your farm from Mycoplasma bovis

Biosecurity checklist
Use this checklist to identify ways you can help protect your farm.

Cleaning poster: Protect your farm from disease
Advice on cleaning and disinfecting to protect your farm from disease.

Mycoplasma bovis - managing service bulls

Mycoplasma bovis - using imported or local semen

Pre-purchase checklist
A checklist to use when selling stock which would accompany the Animal Status Declaration form.


Technical information and updates for veterinarians

Mycoplasma bovis - the diseases it causes, its surveillance, diagnosis and control
Information from the Ministry for Primary Industries.

Mycoplasma bovis
Full technical information prepared by the NZVA’s Society of Dairy Cattle Veterinarians.

Best practice biosecurity protocols
Advice from the NZVA Society of Dairy Cattle Veterinarians and the Sheep and Beef Cattle Vets Branch on what biosecurity measures should be taken to minimise the risk of the introduction of Mycoplasma bovis on farms.

Standard Operating Procedure for Nasopharyngeal Swab Technique for Cattle

Standard Operating Procedure for Preputial Swab Technique for Bulls

Testing of Service Bulls for Mycoplasma bovis in New Zealand

Conference proceeding from the 2017 Society of Dairy Cattle Veterinarians
Mycoplasma bovis infection on a South Canterbury dairyfarm - Merlyn Hay

Conference proceeding from the 2017 Society of Dairy Cattle Veterinarians
Biosecurity response to Mycoplasma bovis - MPI Mycoplasma bovis intelligence team

Update No.1: 25 July 2017

Update No.2: 28 July 2017

Update No.3: 8 August 2017

Update No.4: 13 October 2017