New Disease in Cows

A new disease, Mycoplasma Bovis, was found in July in a South Canterbury farm. Since then, 7 farms now have infected cows. All the farms are connected to the original one in some way. Farmers often move animals to another farm which has better grass and this disease spreads through contact between cows. Equipment, like milking machines, can also spread the disease.

The disease is caused by bacteria. It causes arthritis in the leg joints, swollen udder (the udder is the milk bag on a cow) and can cause pneumonia. There is no treatment. The animals have to be killed. The disease is widespread throughout the world but has never been in New Zealand before.

MPI, the Ministry for Primary Industries, has now ordered 4,000 cows from these 7 farms to be killed. All equipment will need to be sterilised to kill the disease. The land will also need to be treated before more animals can be allowed on the farms. Farmers can apply for some compensation under the Biosecurity Act. Even with some compensation, it will be very hard on the farmers to lose their animals and it could be some time before the farms are ready to take more animals.

Listen to Parasite in Oysters to hear more about the work of MPI. Oyster farmers received some compensation.


• original (adj) – the first one
• joints (n) – where two bones join
• pneumonia (n) – a disease of the lungs to hear moe about what MPI does. Oyster farmers received some comp
• Primary Industries – industries directly from the land or sea, not processed (includes fruit, fish, animals)
• sterilised (v) – cleaned so that all bacteria are killed
• compensation (n) – some money in payment for their loss


  1. Thank you! Your website really helps me a lot. Take care of yourself in changeable weather(I think you’ve probably got a cold). Hope you get well soon!

  2. Yes you’re right. I have a cold which has affected my voice.

  3. Thanks for your work, that’s really helpful website to keep improving my English skills.
    Take care of yourself!

  4. Thank you for your websites and all those news audios. Please take care and stay warm!

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