Tue, 27 Mar 2018
NEW ZEALAND - The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) has announced that all cattle on properties infected with the Mycoplasma bovis (M.bovis) cattle disease will be culled and the farmers' losses compensated.
"The MPI decision that cattle on all infected properties will be culled provides clarity to farmers that have been living with this uncertainty," said Dave Harrison, General Manager Policy and Advocacy at B+LNZ.
"This has been a very trying few months for affected farmers who have been restricted from trading, borne extra costs, and suffered worry and anxiety about the future.
"We will continue to support our farmers and work closely with MPI as it seeks to establish the extent of M.bovis spread in New Zealand, prior to making a decision about whether to eradicate the disease or seek to manage it.
"Regardless of what option is pursued, B+LNZ is determined to ensure any lessons from M.bovis are learned to make the livestock sector more resilient to biosecurity threats."
Farmers have been urged to comply with the National Animal Identification Tracing (NAIT) scheme requirements following the announcement of a programme to track cattle movements as part of the Mycoplasma bovis response.
MPI will stop trucks in the upper South Island to check that farmers moving cattle from the South to the North Island are complying with their legal obligations under the NAIT Act.
The programme, which begins today and is likely to be extended to other parts of the country, will see farmers fined for non-compliance.
Mr Harrison said: "It is vital the entire industry complies with the NAIT requirements.
"We accept that not all farmers always meet their NAIT requirements. Unfortunately, those not doing so are letting down the farmers that do comply."
B+LNZ also wishes to see the NAIT system developed so it is simpler to use, said Mr Harrison.
"However, we also recognise that there is a role for enforcement action for those who refuse to use the system.
"Our preference is for enforcement action to focus on willing non-compliance. Any issues linked to connectivity or difficulties in understanding how to use the NAIT system should be addressed through education."