Govt decision on M. bovis cattle disease

Govt decision on M. bovis cattle disease

"But industry has always, from the beginning of this, been committed to working with the government to eradicate, if the science said it was feasible", she says. "This is a rainy day".

The plan is set to cost $886 million, and will take place over the next ten years.

Phased eradication involves ongoing depopulation and includes any new infected properties. Until July New Zealand was one of only two major OECD dairying countries that were free of the disease.

The fight against Mycoplasma bovis is escalating with 50 more staff, a new field headquarters and the appointment of a science adviser, says Agriculture Minister Damien O'Connor. "So if we have an opportunity to be the country that eradicates this disease, then we'll take it".

All infected farms found in the future will be depopulated.

Mr Peters claims compensation could top around five-million dollars, including losses for more than a million tonnes of feed.

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The government would contribute about NZ$591 million to the eradication program, while the rest would be borne by industry bodies and farmers, Ardern said.

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

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is announcing the government's decision at Federated Farmers' headquarters in Wellington. It was a fearless decision and the whole of New Zealand will be hoping it pays off.

MPI said there may come a time when "we may have to concede that living with it and managing it within our herds is the most sensible way forward".

A further round of national bulk milk surveillance testing is scheduled in spring and the government will assess the direction of the operation based on that and other information in late 2018 or early 2019.

The alternative plan, long term management of the disease, was estimated to cost $1.2 billion. "A quarter of them are being wiped out in the next 10 years", he told Newshub.

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