November 15, 2017 / 1:16 AM / 7 days ago

Eighth New Zealand farm tests positive for cattle disease

WELLINGTON (Reuters) - New Zealand’s Primary Industries ministry said on Wednesday that an eighth farm in the country’s South Island has tested positive for the cattle disease mycoplasma bovis, which can seriously affect animal health.

The farm neighbors a property where the bacterial disease was first detected in the world’s biggest dairy exporter in July.

Two other nearby farms suspected of being affected by the disease were being tested and restrictions have been placed on the movement of animals to prevent any spread, the Ministry of Primary Industries said in a statement.

Mycoplasma bovis is common in many countries and can lead to conditions such as udder infection, pneumonia and arthritis in affected cattle, but does not pose a food safety risk or any risk to humans.

The initial outbreak in July led to concerns that the disease that could affect market access for New Zealand’s diary products, but led only to a brief dip in the New Zealand dollar.

Reporting by Charlotte Greenfield; editing by Richard Pullin

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