New cattle disease Mycoplasma bovis is causing New Zealand farmers a lot of stress but it's worth trying to rid the country of it, Mike Cranstone says.

"The opportunity is there to have a good crack at eradicating it."

He's the new president of the Wanganui Federated Farmers province, voted in on May 25 at the annual general meeting.

There are 37 farms with infected cattle so far, and many others that may be infected and are in quarantine. So far 11,000 cattle have been slaughtered in the eradication process.


The disease doesn't affect humans and is spread between cattle by semen, milk and nasal fluids. It only shows when animals are under stress, often as lameness or mastitis.

Cranstone is putting his faith in industry experts, who have been working on an eradication plan.

New Zealand is relatively free of stock diseases, and this could be an advantage, he said.

"Who knows? Not having this disease, keeping it out, what opportunities may arise for high value products like pharmaceuticals."