A second case of the serious cattle disease Mycoplasma bovis has been confirmed in the North Island and Federated Farmers say the rate of compensation payment is not good enough.

Herald inquiries of the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) revealed 47 claims for cattle destruction, provided for under biosecurity law, with 16 paid either partially, or in full.

MPI reported a total of 102 compensation claims around the disease outbreak, with 22 paid out partially or in full. Some claims relate to remedial property work and other financial losses from efforts to contain the sickness.

A total of $3.26 million had been paid out as of April 27.


Federated Farmers vice-president Andrew Hoggard said MPI's compensation payout rate was not good enough. Farmers under MPI lockdown orders were suffering financial difficulties, he said.

"There are numerous cases where farmers have been placed under restriction notices after buying in young animals or new livestock they planned to sell on. They're having to buy heaps of [unbudgeted for] feed because they can't move them off the farm."

Other hardship cases involved dairy farmers who had lost their income because their cows had been culled.

Federated Farmers was getting involved in discussions with MPI in cases when its members requested help.

MPI said just over 8000 cattle on eight infected properties had been culled so far in its bid to eradicate the disease, which was first detected in New Zealand mid-last year, but is not thought to be yet well-established. MPI said 35 infected properties, mostly in the South Island, had now been identified.

Another 3000 animals were expected to be culled by the end of this week.

The ministry announced last month that more than 20,000 cattle would be killed by the start of the new dairy season on June 1 in its bid to wipe out the disease.

The latest identified farm is a sheep and beef property in Pahiatua, near Palmerston North.


MPI said though it is the second North Island detection it should not be considered "a major turning point" in the response. However officials also said "a final decision on future management of the disease is still to be made".

Federated Farmers vice-president Andrew Hoggard says MPI's compensation payout rate is not good enough.
Federated Farmers vice-president Andrew Hoggard says MPI's compensation payout rate is not good enough.

MPI also this week confirmed two further positive properties, cattle and sheep farms, in Southland. Most infected farms until recently have been dairy operations.

In total 53 properties - including the 35 confirmed positive - are under restricted control notices, meaning livestock cannot be removed from them.

Three restriction notices and 36 surveillance notices had been lifted, MPI said.

MPI told the Herald Mbovis had not been detected in the dairy-rich regions of the Waikato and Taranaki. However, three Waikato properties were under MPI direction. Its investigation into how Mbovis got into New Zealand was "ongoing".