Tuesday, 23 October, 2018

New Zealand to kill 150,000 cows to end bacterial disease

Mycoplasma bovis is the most severe economic biosecurity issue to hit New Zealand predicted to cost $1 billion over 10 GERALD PIDDOCK STUFF Mycoplasma bovis is the most severe economic biosecurity issue to hit New Zealand predicted to cost $1 billion over 10 years
Kim Reese | 31 May, 2018, 22:16

"Using very rough figures, it suggests that production will be impacted in similar way to what you would expect with a drought", Tuffley said. Eradicating Mycoplasma bovis won't be easy, but if we don't try now, we will never get another chance.

The Prime Minister of New Zealand, Jacinda Ardern, described as "difficult" the decision to implement this plan, which aims to curb a disease that affects farm animals but which could also be extended to wild animals.

The alternative plan, long term management of the disease, was estimated to cost $1.2 billion.

"Now we have to crack on and give it our best shot to recover from this threat".

Government will meet 68 per cent of this cost and DairyNZ and Beef+Lamb New Zealand will meet 32 per cent. An internal investigation has been initiated by the cops of the country with the Ministry of Primary Industries in order to find out as to how the cow disease emerged into New Zealand and spread such far affecting both the islands.

FILE PHOTO: Clouds gather above a cow as it grazes in a drought-effected paddock on the outskirts of the New Zealand town of Blenheim, located in the south island's Marlborough district March 12, 2013.

New Zealand is known to be the biggest dairy exporter all over the globe and produces near about three percent of the total milk produced in the world.

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All cattle on infected farms and future infected farms, plus some high-risk farms under movement controls, will need to be culled. About 300 properties are in biosecurity lockdown and 858 are under surveillance.

"Today's decision to eradicate is driven by the Government's desire to protect the national herd from the disease and protect the base of our economy - the farming sector", Jacinda Ardern said.

She said eradication will require significant resources from Government and the industry. It was a fearless decision and the whole of New Zealand will be hoping it pays off. It has been found on about 40 farms so far, but 192 farms are likely to be involved in the culling.

"Today we have that certainty", van der Poel said.

"Having this disease can be disastrous for a herd".

MPI says a substantial part of a farmer's claim for culled cows should now take 4-10 days, with a fully verified claim taking 2-3 weeks. Some of the slaughtered cattle may be used for beef, but others will be buried on farms or in landfill. "Everyone down here has been reasonably keen to manage it instead of eradication drive".

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