The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) confirmed yesterday that Mycoplasma bovis has been found in Waikato, but rumours suggest the cattle disease has been in the region for a while.

Federated Farmers' National Dairy Chair, Chris Lewis spoke to The Country's Jamie Mackay saying he has heard the rumours and is frustrated with MPI's testing process.

Lewis says MPI has had to "retest and retest and retest again until they're happy with the test," which has slowed the process.

"I'm sure on this case MPI has been just as frustrated as farmers," says Lewis.


Mycoplasma bovis is transferred when cattle are stressed. Cows and calves are more likely to shed the disease in pressurised environments such as the winter/spring season. This is causing concern for the industry says Lewis.

"We won't know until spring, when we do our next round of bulk milk testing, how bad or how good this actually is."

Some are saying Federated Farmers should go in to bat for farmers who are getting their cows culled.

Lewis refutes this, saying Federated Farmers have "advocated very hard" for people both in the media and "behind closed doors."

"It's frustrating to hear that," says Lewis.

Also in today's interview: Chris Lewis ponders whether politicians are playing the blame game, should the cull be stopped and who will end up footing the bill?

Listen below: