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Rural communities have faced biosecurity challenges in the past and are sharing that knowledge with the next generation says Dr Tim Mackle.

DairyNZ's chief executive spoke to The Country Early Edition's Rowena Duncum about the coronavirus outbreak and how it relates to biosecurity threats faced by farmers.

"Dairy and beef farmers will have some grasp of what's being attempted here on the human side with coronavirus in terms of some of the testing processes and trying to understand the extent of the spread," said Mackle.


Fighting biosecurity threats was often a long game as farmers were well aware, after dealing with Mycoplasma bovis and TB. Mackle said there were two key points when creating a contingency plan.

Listen below:

"What do you do as an individual and how do you work together as a collective?"

DairyNZ had been working with farmers, Beef+Lamb NZ and the wider community with its On Farm Biosecurity programme to respond to threats said Mackle.

"We also have a really good small team of experts ... their job is to work with others, including Beef+Lamb, MPI and others and most importantly with farmers to improve our overall biosecurity risk."

Ultimately, the whole community needed to work together on biosecurity, and Government, processors, transporters and all rural professionals had a part to play.

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Also in today's interview: Mackle talked about how to keep an eye on biosecurity around events like Moving Day.