Duck hunters and trampers are being advised to take extra bio-security precautions if they are hunting in the vicinity of a Hastings farm infected with M. bovis disease.

The Ministry for Primary Industries confirmed last Friday that a Hastings farm had been quarantined after it tested positive for mycoplasma bovis.

A warning sign has since been erected on Te Aute Trust Rd warning of an exclusion zone and an isolation zone around farmland owned by Brownrigg Agriculture.

The site is also close to an area where active duck shooting permits are in place and, although the M. bovis bacterium which causes illness in cattle does not infect humans, there was a small chance it could be spread by farm equipment and from muddy boots.

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"While the risk is low, it is technically possible for Mycoplasma bovis to be spread on farming equipment, including on boots if not cleaned properly. However, the disease does not survive in soil for a long period," an MPI spokesman said.

"We recommend visitors to any farm take extra precautions to prevent spreading the disease. This includes cleaning gumboots and the wheels of vehicles. Visitors should follow all biosecurity protocols that are in place on a farm."

Farms with the disease, or suspected of having it, are put under movement controls.

These controls prevent farmers moving stock or risk equipment off the farm.

Brownrigg Agriculture livestock general manager Brent Oliver confirmed one of its farms had been declared an infected property.

"We have been undergoing testing of Friesian bulls on our Ngawhakatatara farm as part of MPI's Mycoplasma bovis disease response over the last few months.

"The property came under surveillance as part of MPI's tracing of stock movements originating from other known infected properties in the South Island. The results of the testing has led MPI to declare this farm an 'Infected Property'.

"The farm has been operating in quarantine mode with the relevant movement restrictions in place. We will remain under quarantine while we work with MPI on the depopulation programme for the remaining cattle on the property."

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