The Ministry for Primary Industries says this week's Technical Advisory Group (TAG) report on the Mycoplasma bovis outbreak has given independent validation that its efforts are on the right track.
MPI's Director of Response for M. bovis Geoff Gwyn said the good news from the report was that TAG was more optimistic that eradication was feasible.
MPI today said there were six main points from this week's report:
•The Technical Advisory Group is more confident now than in mid-2018 that eradication is achievable.
•Data shows we're dealing with a single source of introduction within the last four years.
•There's no evidence of widespread and unlinked disease in the national dairy herd.
•More surveillance is needed in the beef sector.
•MPI needs to communicate better with affected farmers and stakeholders.
•There are risks to success including NAIT reliability, having a clear definition of the 'freedom from disease', trust from the farming community, and staff fatigue.
"We all know that there is a long way to go yet, but it's important to bear in mind that everyone's efforts are starting to contribute towards the result that we are all looking for," Gwyn said.
"I want to stress that this in no way underplays the genuine challenges many farmers are facing. Supporting farmers is my top concern right now.
"I know a number of people and communities are affected by the eradication effort, and are feeling the strain. I want you to know that we're onto it. We've been changing our approach to minimise disruption to farming businesses, and working together with other organisations to make sure the right support is available to affected farmers."
Listen to Geoff Gwyn's interview on The Country below:
There are 33 active infected properties according to today's MPI update. There are nine in the North Island and 24 in the South Island, made up of 15 dairy farms, 17 beef farms and one other property.