Mycoplasma Bovis – Waimakariri Irrigation Ltd (WIL) Response Plan

In response to the Mycoplasma Bovis (M. Bovis) threat to farms and herds in the Waimakariri district, WIL has made a commitment to manage this risk.  We would appreciate your support and co-operation to ensure the threat of M. Bovis is minimised.

Our staff and contractors access properties for the purpose of operating the irrigation and stock water race scheme.  This access can occur over multiple properties in succession, and on occasion, access is not obtained through the main entrance to the property. We are ensuring that our staff and contractors are vigilant in taking the necessary precautions to minimise any risk of transferring M. Bovis between properties.

The WIL operations team recently met with the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) and developed protocols that all WIL staff and contractors will now follow.

In doing so, WIL recognises:

  • the seriousness of the threat. Shareholders and property owners can be assured that WIL is taking every action to avoid any further spread;
  • the sensitivities surrounding the disease. Information provided to WIL for the purpose of managing properties will be kept strictly confidential.

Key points

The main risks presented by WIL access to properties include:

  1. Soil and cow dung on vehicles and footwear

MPI states there is no known transfer of the disease through soil movement, so this is deemed as a low risk activity. However, to mitigate ANY chance of spreading the disease MPI is advising the cleaning of vehicles and other equipment that is used on any farm before entering the next property.

  1. Direct contact of cattle and vehicles

If cattle have direct contact with the vehicles and lick and slobber on them, then that vehicle travels to another property and the same occurs there. To mitigate ANY risk of spreading the disease, any vehicle visiting a farm which has direct contact with livestock will likewise be cleaned before entering the next property.


The Privacy Act prohibits MPI from informing WIL of any properties under a ‘Notice of Direction’. Therefore, WIL is relying on property owners to ‘self-notify’ of the presence of M. Bovis on their property to help minimise the risk of spreading the disease.

Next steps

In order to ensure that WIL complies with MPI protocols when undertaking property access, WIL is asking farmers to:

  • Self-notify WIL staff prior to property access occurring, especially any ‘Notice of Direction’ properties that WIL may access. This will help minimise the risk of spreading the disease.
  • Minimise the potential for cattle to be in direct contact with WIL and contractor vehicles.
  • Maintain good communication channels and update progress throughout any ‘Notice of Direction’.
  • Inform WIL of farm specific biosecurity or access policies on any properties, whether or not the property is under a ‘Notice of Direction’.
  • All information collected from a Shareholder will be kept strictly confidential in accordance with the Privacy Act and only used for the purposes of property access that is undertaken by WIL.

In the meantime, WIL has added biosecurity disinfectant kits to all vehicles and staff have been trained in washdown procedures for vehicles and footwear.

Any communications can be directed to either

  • Brent Walton, CEO                                          0220 869986
  • Paul Reese, Environmental Manager      0277 314433
  • Jamie Hamilton, Operations Manager   0212 411125


For further information and guidelines please visit MPI’s M. Bovis website:

Thank you for your cooperation on this important issue.



The WIL team