M.bovis eradication progressing well

Nearly two weeks after the decision to take our one shot to eradicate Mycoplasma bovis, the programme is making good progress, says Agriculture and Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor. 

“We have seen the benefit of certainty. At the meetings I attend around the country an overwhelming majority of farmers support the eradication objective while accepting it’s a big challenge. 

“The MPI-led response has made good progress. 

“The number of farms under regulatory control has been reduced from 300 to about 200, though this is likely to change as the response progresses.  

“The reduction is mainly due to farms under Notice of Direction being tested, cleared and allowed to get on with business as usual. 

“The number of properties with confirmed infections has recently reduced from 39 to 36 as a result of several properties completing the culling and disinfection process. 

“The culling of some 24,500 animals on 28 of those infected properties (IP) has been completed, allowing them to go into the disinfection stage. 

“In total 44 farms have been identified since July 2017, with eight now cleaned and cleared of Mycoplasma bovis. 

“This is clearly an improving situation for those farmers under the strain of an IP, who can now get back to business. 

“Phased eradication is in its early stages and we fully expect to uncover more suspicious or infected properties over coming months. It was disappointing that we had our first confirmed detection in the Wairarapa this week. 

“Moving to phased eradication has allowed MPI to work with industry partners to bring more resource into the response to directly support farmers. 

“The big push has been bringing in people with practical farming experience to work with farmers under regulatory control – 25 went into the field last week and another 10 will begin shortly. In total 250 people are working on the response. 

“My request for compensation to be streamlined has seen prompter payments to farmers.  

“MPI has received 139 claims to date with 46 paid in part or in full and another 12 in the final approval stage. 

“In dollar terms, the assessed value of claims is $9.3 million and $7.6 million has been paid.  

“I acknowledge we have a long way to go and thank everyone for contributing to a significant step forward in our Mycoplasma bovis eradication programme,” Damien O’Connor said.