New Zealand to spend $600 million to eradicate cattle disease

A new report pointed out that New Zealand would walk up a step to eradicate the disease Mycoplasma Bovis by slaughtering near about hundred thousand cows.

Despite initially being contained to farms in the South Island, the disease has continued to spread and reached the North Island earlier this year. They say numerous cows will be slaughtered at processing plants and used for beef, but some cows will have to be killed and buried on the farms or dumped in approved landfills.

It does not pose a food safety risk or humans but does cause significant production losses.

A Canterbury farmer says he wants someone from the Government to come out and talk to him as he prepares to lose another 900 cows in the Mycoplasma bovis cull.

"This is a tough time, and the pain and anguish [affected farmers] are going to go through is really ugly", she said. The dairy herd of the country reportedly has around 6.6 million cows. Until July New Zealand was one of only two major OECD dairying countries that were free of the disease.

Since it was first discovered, 26,000 cows have been culled, and the disease is classified as "active" on 37 properties.

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The full cost of eradication over 10 years is projected to be $886 million.

Katie Milne, president of the advocacy group Federated Farmers, said they would try to ensure that farmers received the financial and emotional support they required.

The bodies of cows killed are set to be sold as meat, buried, or dumped in landfills.

"Today's decision to eradicate the disease is driven by the government's desire to protect the national herd from the disease and protect the base of our economy - the farming sector", she said.

Mycoplasma bovis has not been eradicated from any country where it has been found.

"This is a necessary, unfortunate part of not having yet a test that clearly identifies the individual animals", he said. According to AP, officials indicated they won't be able to tell until the end of the year whether the mass cow killing plan will work.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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