MPI providing $150 incentive for TSE test in eligible cattle

MPI have a commitment to assuring New Zealand’s export customers that we are free from TSE’s (transmissible spongiform encephalopathies, known as mad cow disease).  This helps keep exportation demand strong for local farmers.

Biosecurity New Zealand offer financial incentives to help monitor animals which may present clinical neurological signs.  This financial incentive of $150 plus GST for cows is more generous than payments received for animals sold for pet food (maximum two samples per farm per year).  The eligibility criteria is as follows:


Aged between 30 months and 9 years, with any of the following presentations:

  • Neurological signs that are progressive or do not respond to treatment.
  • Behavioural changes, or abnormalities in stance or gait that have no clear musculoskeletal origin.
  • Metabolic disorders (including downer cattle without obvious injury) that do not respond to treatment.

MPI requires that a veterinarian euthanise the animal, extract the brain and send it to a participating laboratory.  Other eligibility criteria include: the animal must be sighted alive prior by the vet and only two samples can be received a year from any one farm.

MPI also compensates vets for their time and labour in removing the brain, so you will not have to pay for the vet’s time.  If you have cattle that meets the above criteria, talk to your local Vetlife clinic to see if that animal could be eligible for the scheme.