Farmers applauded as M.bovis threat weakens

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Section
Audio,
Publish Date
Tuesday, 18 December 2018, 9:21a.m.
So far around 180 farmers have received almost $37 million in compensation. Photo / NZ Herald

The government believes it is on track to eradicate M.bovis from the country.

The battle against the cow disease continues with the number of slaughtered cows climbing close to 150,000.

Agriculture Minister Damien O'Connor told Tim Dower monitoring of the National Animal Identification and Tracing system has improved significantly since the outbreak.

"We have been following up, we have been sending notices to the farmers who haven't taken the actions needed. They seem to of got the message."

The Government announced a massive response in May after the disease was detected on cattle and dairy farms.

O'Connor says the numbers of farmers affected in some way by the disease is unprecedented.

"There are about 1000 farmers in total who have been tied up in this, a number of farmers and their families have been in the firing line and this has been very tough on them."

Two testing programmes to work out the spread of M.bovis in New Zealand have returned no undetected clusters of disease, and O'Connor believes finding the source may be impossible.

"The report basically says we may never find the source, there are still investigations going on but we we may never absolutely know how M. bovis came into the country."

So far around 180 farmers have received almost $37 million in compensation.

M. bovis, which is not harmful to humans, can cause lameness, mastitis and abortions in cattle.

LISTEN ABOVE AS DAMIEN O'CONNOR SPEAKS TO TIM DOWER

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