Mycoplasma Bovis Forced New Zealand Government Decide The Slaughter Of 150,000 Cows

Mycoplasma bovis is the most severe economic biosecurity issue to hit New Zealand predicted to cost $1 billion over 10

GERALD PIDDOCK STUFF Mycoplasma bovis is the most severe economic biosecurity issue to hit New Zealand predicted to cost $1 billion over 10 years

It does not pose a food safety risk or humans but does cause significant production losses. The infection causes several diseases in the cows that can spread quickly.

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.

New Zealand is the world's largest exporter of dairy, producing 3% of all the world's milk.

Officials carrying out the cull "have the legal authority to forcibly enter farms and kill animals even in cases where a farmer might resist, but they said they hope they don't have to use those powers", Bloomberg reports.

"This is a tough call - no one ever wants to see mass culls".

Katie Milne, president of the advocacy group Federated Farmers, said they would try to ensure that farmers received the financial and emotional support they required.

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"And we have to support them as neighbours, community members, farmers, friends".

Mycoplasma Bovis is the most pathogenic bovine mycoplasma species in Europe and the United States and causes serious animal health problems such as bovine pneumonia, arthritis, genital abnormalities, and miscarriages. 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.

An internal investigation has been initiated by the cops of the country with the Ministry of Primary Industries in order to find out as to how the cow disease emerged into New Zealand and spread such far affecting both the islands. It has 6.6m dairy cows.

New Zealand is now home to around 10 million cows, two-thirds of which are dairy cows.

"We don't know, in the long-term, what impact it could collectively have on an industry that is incredibly important to New Zealand's economy", she said. It will only be clear by the end of year if the culling of the cows is working.

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