New Zealand's beef farmers encouraged to follow the Mp. bovis eradication programme
The latest Beef + Lamb New Zealand TAG report on the Mycoplasma bovis (Mp. bovis) eradication programme could further encourage farmers to fight against the disease.
"Although it is still early days, and this is a complex disease, we are pleased by the progress outlined in the TAG report. The progress so far illustrates the value of a collaborative approach to fighting Mp. bovis with Government and industry working in partnership.
Farmers and rural communities also deserve credit for stepping up to the plate during the eradication programme. We know this has been a difficult, uncertain and often upsetting time for farmers and their families, especially those directly affected because people’s livelihoods are at stake.", says B+LNZ chairman Andrew Morrison.
37 farms were identified as affected by the disease and the programme is leading to the largest mass animal slaughter in the country's history, with 126,000 cattle that must be culled. Mycoplasma Bovis can lead to conditions such as udder infection, pneumonia, and arthritis in affected cattle, but does not pose a food safety risk or any risk to humans.
The authorities are going to contribute with NZ$ 591 million ($410 million) to cover the losses resulted in the eradication programme.
"Our view has always been that eradication was only on the table for a limited time and once it was off the table, it would be off forever, so we had to give this a go. Our hope is that with a united effort, we can overcome this challenge and emerge stronger than ever. We can then focus on learning everything we can from this response to make us better prepared for the future", added Morrison.
B+LNZ and DairyNZ will be holding consultations with dairy and beef farmers from late January 2019 to get their feedback on the best timeframe to make the eradication programme repayments, according to MeatExportNZ website. It is anticipated the beef cattle M. bovis levy will be collected via a specific biosecurity levy at the point of processing.
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