Farmers are generally no-nonsense folk who don't like to be mucked around.

So it's not surprising there's been a fair amount of hissing and cussing since the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) announced just before Easter a surge in the number of restrictions placed on farms as part of a programme to control cattle disease Mycoplasma bovis.

Farmers expressed shock at the sudden number of high risk farms – about 300 – that would be contacted by MPI as it ramped up activity.


About 250 would have notices of "direction" placed on them, meaning they can't shift stock.