OSPRI to deliver operations for Mycoplasma bovis programme

Starting 1 November 2023, OSPRI will take control of the day-to-day operational and disease control functions of the Mycoplasma bovis (M. bovis) programme.

From 1 November 2023, we will be responsible for:

  • testing of farms
  • the two background surveillance programmes
  • managing the current active confirmed property and any newly detected farms 
  • depopulation of infected farms, or trace animals
  • supporting affected farmers. 

Programme partners, Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI), Beef + Lamb New Zealand, and DairyNZ, will continue to govern and monitor the programme’s progress. MPI will retain non-operational aspects of the programme, including compensation, and any necessary compliance action.

This change does not affect the farmers and M. bovis levies will not change.

Work to focus on surveillance to support eradication

The programme is now more than halfway into an estimated 10-year plan to eradicate M. bovis. The number of infected properties has fallen to very low levels and the major activity of the programme in coming years will be national surveillance of New Zealand’s cattle herd. Moving operations from MPI to OSPRI at this stage of the eradication effort will provide the best value for the programme funders and farmers.

OSPRI's proven regional management model reflects our experience in surveillance and disease control. The natural synergies between the M. bovis programme and our NAIT and the TBFree programmes will help us achieve operational efficiencies.

A significant portion of our M. bovis team is coming over from MPI, bringing invaluable programme knowledge to our organisation.

Proposed National Pest Management Plan in future

The programme is being administered under a Government Industry Agreement (GIA) between the three partners.

A proposal is under way to change the administration model to a National Pest Management Plan (NPMP) — the same model used for bovine tuberculosis (TB).

The proposal nominates OSPRI as the lead agency to deliver the programme for the remainder of the eradication plan.

Public submissions on the draft proposal closed in October 2023. The final proposal is expected to be submitted to the Government for review in 2024.