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DCANZ supports decision for phased-eradication of Mycoplasma bovis

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Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

The Dairy Companies Association of New Zealand (DCANZ) strongly supports the New Zealand Government’s decision to continue the fight to eradicate Mycoplasma bovis from New Zealand.

"The technical advice received supports the feasibility of eradication, and the expert analysis supports this decision as being the best economic and animal welfare outcome for New Zealand" says DCANZ Chairman Malcolm Bailey. "If we don’t take this opportunity now we will never get another chance".

Mycoplasma bovis is a disease of cattle. It does not cause illness in humans and has no food safety risk. It is also not considered a disease of relevance to trade by the World Animal Health Association (OIE). Eradication of Mycoplasma bovis is being sought because it is an animal welfare and production issue which causes illness in cattle, including under infection (mastitis), arthritis, abortion, and pneumonia.

"We recognise that this decision will be hard on those farmers whose cattle have the disease. Ensuring these farmers are looked after and are compensated is a priority. It is important that we also protect the 99% of farmers whose herds are not infected" says Bailey.

"Industry will work collectively, and with MPI, to support those farmers who shoulder a heavy load in securing the best industry-wide outcome".

Due to its isolated geography, New Zealand has an absence of many of the pests and diseases that are a feature of animal production elsewhere in the world.

"Our relative disease free status is an important factor in the high standards of animal health and welfare, the low antibiotic use rates, and the high levels of animal productivity from New Zealand’s pastoral farming systems" says Bailey. "It is important we do everything we can to protect this".

DCANZ will work with MPI and other industry organisations to support successful implementation of the phased-eradication programme.

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