Dairy farmers around the country will be reassured by the Ministry for Primary Industries' (MPI) decision to cull animals on farms infected with the disease Mycoplasma bovis (M. bovis), says DairyNZ chief executive Dr Tim Mackle.
"Since M. bovis was first identified in July farmers have been on high alert and worried about the impact of this disease," says Dr Mackle.
"DairyNZ is supportive of MPI's decision to step up control measures by culling these animals. However, we also know that the decision will create heartache for the affected farmers, and our sympathies are with all those involved on-farm."
Dr Mackle says the decision follows extensive work and testing by MPI, with significant support from DairyNZ and many other agencies. Since the disease was first identified in July over 30,000 tests have been carried out by MPI.
MPI is increasingly confident that infection has not spread outside the primary farming enterprise involved with this outbreak, or any of the other farms also under restricted place notices.
Over the coming weeks there will be continued monitoring and testing in the interests of shutting down this disease in New Zealand.
He says biosecurity is fundamental to the future success of all New Zealand's primary sectors, dairy included.
"Work is well underway on a Government-primary sector initiative to improve biosecurity. This is the Government Industry Agreement (GIA) for Biosecurity Readiness and Response. Details are at dairynz.co.nz/GIA
"I urge farmers to have their say on this when they receive information packs in the mail in a couple of weeks."
For more information https://www.mpi.govt.nz/mycoplasma-bovis/.