Government set to eradicate mycoplasma bovis

The disease has now been traced to the Southland farm of Alfons Zeestraten at least back to December 2015. MPI says

The disease has now been traced to the Southland farm of Alfons Zeestraten at least back to December 2015. MPI says

New Zealand will slaughter more than 100,000 cows in an effort to eradicate a bacterial disease.

Cabinet's decision to opt for eradication of Mycoplasma bovis from New Zealand is a bold one and probably the right one, but will involve a lot of anguish and pain for farmers and must be closely scrutinised right through the programme.

The Government chose today the option of phased eradication to attempt to combat the cow disease Mycoplasma bovis, at a cost of $886 million over the next decade.

"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", she added.

Minister of Biosecurity Damien O'Connor said all indications pointed to it being possible to eradicate Mycoplasma bovis, "experts have said so, and we believe we have to give it a go". Though the bacteria poses no threats to food safety, it does cause production losses, as infected cows tend to develop mastitis, severe pneumonia, arthritis and respiratory issues. "But the alternative is the spread of the disease across our national herd". About two-thirds are dairy cows and the rest beef cattle.

"But, as we see in droughts as well, we will get people [who] will suffer a disproportionate impact because they will be the ones who will have all the cash-flow pressure arising from having their stock culled, waiting for compensation, and then having to rebuild their herds", he said.

We're calling on rural communities to support each other, especially affected farmers and those that appear to be finding it hard.

Ukraine tries flushing out Russian assassins with the ol' "dead journalist" trick
In the fall, Babchenko moved to Kiev, where he worked as a host for the Crimean Tatar TV station, ATR. He left Russian Federation in February 2017 because he feared for his life, according to Reuters .

The cost of eradication will be largely borne by the government, with Dairy NZ and Beef+Lamb New Zealand to pay 32 per cent. They say numerous cows will be slaughtered at processing plants and used for beef, but some cows will have to be killed and buried on the farms or dumped in approved landfills.

The Government today said it had reached an agreement with farming sector leaders to attempt to eradicate the disease, which is not harmful to humans.

Those included finding the disease was more widespread than surveillance and modelling anticipated, or a property was found that predated the earliest known infection of December 2015.

"It won't work without farmer support".

- An improved compensation claim process.

The bodies of cows killed are set to be sold as meat, buried, or dumped in landfills.

The estimated cost of not acting was $1.3 billion over 10 years.

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