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The government has said that it is taking the step to eradicate the danger of the infection spreading to farms of New Zealand.

Murray Jagger, and his wife Helen run a 650-dairy cow and 250 dairy/beef enterprise at the Whangarei Heads. She further added, "Speaking with affected farmers in recent weeks it is obvious that this has taken a toll, but standing back and allowing the disease to spread would simply create more anxiety for all farmers".

"This is a tough call - no-one ever wants to see mass culls".

All agreed this is the best action to protect the national herd of dairy and beef cattle and to give farmers certainty. Both Government and our industry partners want those farmers to know support is there for them.

To eradicate it, we need to be sure we've managed every last case.

The country, which produces 3 percent of the world's milk and has 6.6 million dairy cows, will embark on the biggest cull in its history, to become the first country in the world to try to eradicate the cow disease.

In Ashburton, some farmers are anxious that eradicating Mycoplasma bovis will disproportionately hurt their herds through culling. "So if we have an opportunity to be the country that eradicates this disease, then we'll take it". This means more skilled people will be able to work directly with affected farmers.




High-risk animal movements have been traced to 3000 farms. Improvements to the system are underway to make this easier to do in future.

Officials say they plan to kill all cows on any farms where the bacteria are found, even if some of the animals are healthy.

There was a set of reassessment measures that, if met, would prompt a re-evaluation of the plan.

At this time (28 May 2018), the disease is still not widespread (37 infected farms and some 260 suspect farms out of 20,000) and there is just one strain of the disease here.

Mr O'Connor said he had asked the Ministry for Primary Industries to revisit the compensation process and a new "streamlined" approach had been developed for those whose animals were culled to enable a substantial payment "within a matter of days".

The total cost of eradication will be $870 million over 10 years - $278 million will be paid by DairyNZ and Beef + Lamb New Zealand. The bacteria is not harmful to humans and does not pose a threat to food safety. We expect to do most of the eradication work in 1-2 years.

The alternative option was for long-term management.


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