A Hastings family are still trying to "wrap our heads around" how their farm became the centre of a mycoplasma bovis infection.

Last week the Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI) announced they had discovered the disease in the North Island for the first time at a Hastings farm. This was one of four new properties positive for the bacterial cattle disease, with the others located in the South Island.

Although the Hastings farm was not identified by MPI, Sharon and Jeremy White had decided to come forward after it was revealed their bull grazing and finishing unit in Patoka, which they have run for less than two years, was a carrier of the disease.

Yesterday Mr White said the situation was still sinking him for him and his family.


"We're still trying to get our heads around it," he said, adding they were not ready to talk about how it had affected them personally yet.

"It's been a bloody strain on us and the kids as you can imagine."

Mr White said they were still trying to confirm the details around how the infection occurred. It had only been discovered last week when animal carcass tested positive for the bacteria.

The farm had been in "lock down" since the disease was found, and they had been working closely with MPI. He urged people to visit the MPI website to find out more about the disease.

The disease can cause udder infections, abortions, pneumonia and arthritis, and it has been found that a large contributor to the outbreak of the disease is by stock movement from farm to farm.

Earlier this week about 300 people attended a meeting held in Napier, where MPI answered questions about the current situation.

Federated Farmers Hawke's Bay president Will Foley told Hawke's Bay Today it was a "courageous move" by the owners and they "had made the right call".

"They would have been through an emotional rollercoaster ride in the last few weeks when they were notified of their own situation and secondly when the public media release came out, and of course they weren't named then but of course in rural communities the rumour mills start."


Knowing where the infected farm was would have eased the minds of a lot of other farmers around Hawke's Bay.