New Zealand to kill 150,000 cows to end bacterial disease

New Zealand to kill 150,000 cows to end bacterial disease

Ardern said today's decision will provide farmers with some certainty, but recognizes how painful a loss this is for farmers who are directly affected.

The plan is set to cost $886 million, and will take place over the next ten years. There will be some flexibility for farmers in the timing of culling to offset production losses.

"We all agree that while there remains a chance to get rid of this disease, we should take it", he said.

Tuffley expected to see upward pressure in whole milk powder and butter prices as a result of the cull.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern spoke in a press release about the difficulty farmers would face losing their herd and the costs of eradication, which she said could total over NZ$800 million dollars.

The alternative plan, long term management of the disease, was estimated to cost $1.2 billion.

The Government will meet 68 per cent of the cost, with DairyNZ and Beef and Lamb New Zealand covering 32 per cent. The farmer can not protest against the move as it is to protect the country from the spreading of the disease and in larger good of New Zealand, claimed its government.

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Farming is a major part of New Zealand's economy and the country is the world's largest exporter of dairy. About 300 properties are in biosecurity lockdown and 858 are under surveillance. The government expects most of the eradication work to be carried out in one to two years. It was a courageous decision and the whole of New Zealand will be hoping it pays off.

Federated Farmers, an advocacy organisation, said there were some farmers who opposed the cull but authorities needed to try to address the bacteria before it was too late.

"Having this disease can be disastrous for a herd".

The farming sector of the nation along with the Government has decided upon culling around one hundred twenty-six thousand cows.

All decision-makers acknowledge that eradication of Mycoplasma bovis - which is possible because it is not widespread, infected properties are all connected through animal movements and there is just one strain of the disease out there - will be challenging and require collaboration.

According to the Ministry for Primary Industries, so far some 26,000 cows have been culled and it estimates another 126,000 cattle will need to be slaughtered as phased eradication will involve killing all cattle on all infected properties along with cattle on most restricted properties. "Everyone down here has been reasonably keen to manage it instead of eradication drive".

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