The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) has announced that all cattle on properties infected with the Mycoplasma bovis (Mp. bovis) cattle disease will be culled and the farmers’ losses compensated.
All cattle on New Zealand properties infected with MP. bovis will be culled, MPI has determined, and the government department has been working with farmers to do that since yesterday.
“The de-population of entire herds on all 28 infected properties in New Zealand is a critical measure to control the spread of the disease and we will be working with those farmers to plan how this will happen,” says MPI’s response director Geoff Gwyn.
The cattle disease, which is relatively new in New Zealand is common in other countries such as Australia, the US and Europe, does not infect humans and there is no food safety risk. It is an animal welfare and productivity issue for dairy and beef cattle.
While there are currently 28 active infected properties, only 22 have cattle remaining on them that will need to be culled. All affected farmers are to be compensated for their verifiable losses. MPI is building its compensation team to make sure farmers are compensated as quickly as possible. Once farms are de-populated and cleaned, these farmers can start re-building a disease-free herd from scratch,” says Gwyn, who recognises it has been an incredibly difficult time for farmers while they wait for critical decisions to be made.
The decision has been able to be made as it has been established that Mp. bovis is not well spread in new Zealand.
“The MPI decision that cattle on all infected properties will be culled provides clarity to farmers that have been living with this uncertainty,” says Dave Harrison, general manager policy and advocacy at B+LNZ.
“This has been a very trying few months for affected farmers who have been restricted from trading, borne extra costs, and suffered worry and anxiety about the future.
“We will continue to support our farmers and work closely with MPI as it seeks to establish the extent of Mp. bovis spread in New Zealand, prior to making a decision about whether to eradicate the disease or seek to manage it.
“Regardless of what option is pursued, B+LNZ is determined to ensure any lessons from Mp. bovis are learned to make the livestock sector more resilient to biosecurity threats.”