Independent report on M.bovis response welcomed

Biosecurity and Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has welcomed an independent review into the Mycoplasma bovis eradication programme, which has found it is on track to achieve eradication and made recommendations to boost biosecurity work.

The review finds the programme is running well and is on track to achieve the world first of eradicating M.bovis, Mr O’Connor said.

It also notes the impact on farmers involved and the work the programme has done over the past two years to make necessary improvements, following a difficult start.

“We are now in a situation where we are down to four infected farms, all of which are situated in Canterbury.”

The decision to attempt eradication had been a big one for the Government and its sector partners, DairyNZ and Beef + Lamb New Zealand, Mr O’Connor said.

“It was driven by a motivation to prevent endemic M.bovis in our national herd and the associated animal welfare, economic and social costs for all farmers that it would bring. The economic cost of endemic M.bovis would top $1 billion in the first 10 years alone and continue to burden the sector into the future.

He acknowledged the sacrifices made by farmers and the hard work of sector groups and the people on the M.bovis programme.”

“The reviewers found that it has taken a lot of commitment to get to this point and that the programme has developed unique biosecurity tools and capabilities.”

The review panel has made

“… some sensible recommendations for us and the primary sector to boost biosecurity and future animal disease responses.

“By working together, and taking the lessons and improvements from the M.bovis programme with us, we are better placed to meet future biosecurity challenges,’’ Damien O’Connor said.

The review can be found here.

Source:  Minister of Agriculture

Author: Bob Edlin

Editor of AgScience Magazine and Editor of the AgScience Blog