A Northland beef herd that tested positive for Mycoplasma bovis has been culled and the property is going through cleaning and disinfecting process.

The property with 50 animals in Arapohue, just east of Dargaville, was placed in lockdown by the Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI) in September and arrangements made with the farm owner to cull the stock.

Ten properties, including the infected farm, are now under a Notice of Direction (NoD) and another on Restricted Place Notice in Northland.

That's two more farms since the beginning of November when eight properties in Northland that may pose a risk of spreading M. bovis were issued with NoDs.


MPI will not say where the 10 farms are or when the notices were issued, citing privacy. The NoD aims to prevent further spread and doesn't restrict movement of stock or goods on to the farm.

Cattle can move off the farm only with a permit. Other steps such as disinfecting and cleaning of vehicles may be required to and from the farms.

A Northland Regional Council biosecurity incursion management officer is working with
MPI to ensure all precautionary measures are taken on the 10 farms.

An MPI spokesman said an NoD was issued to farms when an inspector or authorised person considered that movement of stock or other risk goods from a property posed a risk of spreading M. bovis.

That could be when animals from infected properties have been moved there but testing had not taken place or when results were pending.

He said NoDs were also issued when specific directions needed to be given, such as culling of stock.

"It is important to note the clear majority of properties under a Notice of Direction do not end up testing positive for Mycoplasma bovis."

Sometimes, MPI may issue a transitional NoD if the ministry wants to lock down an infected farm, or one that is highly likely to be infected, while an assessment is made if it's possible to target or exclude areas or stock for a Restricted Place Notice.