New Zealand to cull more than 100,000 cows to eradicate Mycoplasma disease
30 May, 2018, 11:13
"There has been little worldwide investment in science around this disease so the group will look into testing developments to detect Mycoplasma bovis in individual cows, grow understanding of the disease and identify opportunities to support the New Zealand eradication operation".
Radio New Zealand reported that after the cows are killed, infected farms will be disinfected and then ordered to lie fallow for 60 days before new livestock can be allowed to return to the grounds.
The disease causes udder infections, pneumonia and arthritis, but does not affect milk and meat for human consumption.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is announcing the government's decision at Federated Farmers' headquarters in Wellington.
"This is a tough time, and the pain and anguish [affected farmers] are going to go through is really ugly", said Katie Milne, the organisation's president.
New Zealand's dairy sector contributes about NZ$7.8 billion annually to the country's gross domestic product and accounts for around a fifth of the country's exports.
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Last July, Mycoplasma bovis was found in the country for the first time.
The total cost of eradication will be $870 million over 10 years - $278 million will be paid by DairyNZ and Beef + Lamb New Zealand.
The cows will be killed in phases and the first phase will kill around 26,000 cows, process for which is already underway.
Agriculture Minister Damien O'Connor said it was believed the outbreak came from one source and that expert advice indicated it was possible to contain and eradicate it.
A massive 150,000 cows will be culled as the Government pushes ahead with eradication attempts. "This is a necessary, unfortunate part of not having a test that clearly identifies the individual animals yet".
Mr Peters says he isn't convinced with the Government's Mycoplasma bovis plan. It will only be clear by the end of year if the culling of the cows is working.
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