Southland farmer Alfons Zeestraten has entered a not guilty plea to five charges relating to the Mycoplasma bovis outbreak.

He was scheduled to appear in the Invercargill District Court yesterday but no hearing was conducted before a judge.

He will now appear on April 8 for a case review.

Charges include unpacking goods from a container knowing the risk goods in the container were under the control of an inspector, without permission of an inspector or automated electronic system.


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He also faced charges of introducing goods into a restricted place without the permission of an inspector or automated electronic system.

The final charges were a failure to comply with section 25 (8) of the Biosecurity Act, which required a container to be taken to Fertilizer New Zealand Ltd, in Winton, for inspection and with the condition to call the MPI office to arrange inspection, and acquiring and disposing unauthorised goods.

The contagious cattle disease was first detected in July 2017 on a South Canterbury farm owned by the Van Leeuwen Dairy Group.

The cattle were traced back to three of Zeestraten's Southland properties, Southern Centre Dairies.

His farms were declared infected in December of the same year.