Parliament

Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 

Plan to eradicate Mycoplasma bovis

Rt Hon Jacinda Ardern
Prime Minister
MP for Mt Albert

Hon Damien O’Connor
Minister of Agriculture
Minister for Biosecurity

28 May 2018

PĀNUI PĀPĀHO
MEDIA STATEMENT

Plan to eradicate Mycoplasma bovis

Government and farmers agree phased eradication plan

Swifter compensation for farmers promised

Estimated cost of $886m

Government and farming sector leaders have agreed to attempt the eradication of cattle disease Mycoplasma bovis from New Zealand to protect the national herd and the long-term productivity of the farming sector.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Agriculture and Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor say we have one shot at eradicating a disease that causes painful, untreatable illness in cattle.

The decision was taken collectively by Government and farming sector bodies after months of intense modelling and analysis to understand the likely impacts of the disease, the potential spread and the costs and benefits of eradication versus other actions.

“Today’s decision to eradicate is driven by the Government’s desire to protect the national herd from the disease and protect the base of our economy – the farming sector,” Jacinda Ardern said.

“We’ve worked hard to get the information to make this call and I know the past 10 months have been hugely uncertain for our beef and dairy farmers.

“Speaking with affected farmers in recent weeks it is obvious that this has taken a toll, but standing back and allowing the disease to spread would simply create more anxiety for all farmers.

“This is a tough call – no-one ever wants to see mass culls. But the alternative is to risk the spread of the disease across our national herd. We have a real chance of eradication to protect our more than 20,000 dairy and beef farms, but only if we act now.

“Today’s decision will provide some certainty, but at the same time will be terribly painful for those farmers who are directly affected. Both Government and our industry partners want those farmers to know support is there for them.

“We are committed to working in partnership with the farming sector to ensure its long-term success. Today’s move reflects how important the success of the dairy and beef industries is to the prosperity of all New Zealanders,” Jacinda Ardern said.

All decision-makers acknowledge that eradication of Mycoplasma bovis – which is possible because it is not widespread, infected properties are all connected through animal movements and there is just one strain of the disease out there – will be challenging and require collaboration.

Damien O’Connor said it was important all farmers showed a collective responsibility for the sake of the wider sector and get on-board with the eradication operation.

“We all agree that while there remains a chance to get rid of this disease, we should take it. It’s the only chance we’ll get.

“It won’t work without farmer support. In particular farmers need to be meticulous with animal movement records and the way they use NAIT. We have already begun improvements to make it easier to use.

“I’ve also asked MPI to revisit the compensation process and they’ve developed a new streamlined approach for those whose animals are culled to enable a substantial payment within a matter of days.

“Farmer welfare is crucial and I’d like to thank the Rural Support Trusts for the work they’re doing. With this decision we know more help is needed and the Government and industry groups are committed to helping farmers through this stressful time.

“Mycoplasma bovis is a difficult disease to diagnose and to control. For this reason, it is possible that at some stage we may have to let the fight go and learn to manage it in our herds.

“We have a set of reassessment measures that, if met, would prompt us to re-evaluate the plan. These include finding the disease is more widespread than our surveillance and modelling anticipates or a property is found that pre-dates the earliest known infection of December 2015.

“Spring testing this year will give us the opportunity to reassess the feasibility of eradication when results are in come February, as Mycoplasma bovis is at its most detectable after calving,” said Damien O’Connor.

Eradication will involve:

• Culling all cattle on all infected properties along with cattle on most restricted properties

• All infected farms found in future will also be depopulated

• Following depopulation, farms are disinfected and will lie fallow for 60 days after which they can be restocked

• Intensive active surveillance, including testing and tracing, will continue to detect infected herds

• There will be some flexibility for farmers in the timing of culling to offset production losses

• An improved compensation claim process. MPI says a substantial part of a farmer’s claim for culled cows should now take 4-10 days, with a fully verified claim taking 2-3 weeks.

The full cost of phased eradication over 10 years is projected at $886 million. Of this, $16 million is loss of production and is borne by farmers and $870 million is the cost of the response (including compensation to farmers). We expect to do most of the eradication work in 1-2 years.

Government will meet 68 per cent of this cost and DairyNZ and Beef+Lamb New Zealand will meet 32 per cent.

The alternative option was for long-term management. This was projected at $1.2 billion. Of this, $698 million is the loss of production borne by farmers and $520 million of response costs.

To not act at all is estimated to cost the industry $1.3 billion in lost production over 10 years, with ongoing productivity losses across our farming sector.


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

KiwiBailed: KiwiBuild Head Officially Resigns

The head of Kiwibuild, Stephen Barclay has officially resigned from the role. In a statement issued on his behalf, it was announced that he would step down from today [Friday].

Housing Minister Phil Twyford's office said he would not be commenting on Mr Barclay's resignation as it was an employment matter. Last month, Mr Twyford confirmed that Mr Barclay had not been at work for a number of weeks. More>>

 

Welfare Stats: Rise In Hardship Numbers Shows Income Inadequacy

The latest Ministry of Social Development quarterly report show that a record number of people have received hardship assistance from work and income, with an additional 40,000 hardship payments made between September and December 2018, compared to the previous quarter of the same year... More>>

ALSO:

DHBs "Prepared": Junior Doctors Strike Again

The needs of acute patients will be met during tomorrow's junior doctor strike, a DHB spokesperson says... Almost 3000 junior doctors are expected to walk off the job, which will affect all DHBs apart from West Coast District Health Board. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On MBIE’s Social Media Scam

Given the ambit of MBIE’s work, almost any form of social activity could qualify as being part of MBIE’s brief, so the privacy threats posed by this training programme are extensive. The current oversight safeguards seem threadbare to non-existent. More>>

ALSO:

JusTrade: New Campaign For A 21th Century Trade Agenda

‘Critique is no longer enough. If anything is to really change, we need to step away from the existing framework and take a first-principles approach to rethinking what will work for the 21st century.’ More>>

Earlier:

Gordon Campbell: Thompson + Clark Are The Tip Of The Iceberg

How can we tell where and how any lines are being drawn? Oversight is not exactly robust. If it were, Thompson + Clark would have been out of contention for state security work ten years ago. More>>

Trainers: Taratahi Institute of Agriculture In Interim Liquidation

Taratahi employ 250 staff and this year has provided education to over 2500 students. Taratahi owns and manages 8 farms throughout the country. More>>

ALSO:

IPCA Report: Complaints About Deputy Commissioner Wallace Haumaha

The Authority has found that DC Haumaha acted improperly by approaching staff and others to provide information to support him to refute the allegations about his 2016 conduct, or solicited other staff to do so on his behalf... More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels