Dairy and beef sector welcomes Mycoplasma bovis funding support for farmers

With the Government’s announcement that $85 million has been committed to support farmers impacted by Mycoplasma bovis, there is some good news as we continue to try and eradicate this disease in New Zealand.
Wednesday, 7 March 2018

In collaboration with Government, the dairy and beef sectors, including DairyNZ, Beef + Lamb NZ and Meat Industry Association will also, in principle, contribute $11.2 million in funding support. The details of this financial contribution are yet to be worked out.

This funding means that the important work of testing, tracing and investigating can continue with the ultimate goal of eradication and minimising the long-term costs to the dairy and beef sectors and our economy.

The Government estimates that total operational costs of $35M and compensation liabilities of $60M will be required to date until a decision on whether or not to eradicate the disease is made.

Jim van der Poel, DairyNZ chair, says “since this disease was first found in July last year, it has been a long and often hard road for those impacted farmers”.

“This disease threatens the welfare of our cows and farmers, and support from our Government is crucial to get on top of it.

“There are 24 active infected properties that have animals that have tested positive to M. bovis and each and every one of those farmers will have gone through shock, grief, anger and resignation. You cannot underestimate the emotional impact of knowing your animals are unwell.

“This financial commitment sends a strong message to our farmers, and to the country, that the dairy and beef and meat sectors are important to New Zealand. The sector groups have already invested in supporting our farmers through this incursion, and DairyNZ has had staff out on the ground and talking to farmers across the country,” says Jim van der Poel.

Sam McIvor CEO of Beef + Lamb New Zealand says “While current analysis suggests the direct impact of M.bovis on beef production will not be significant, our sector is indirectly affected through impacts on calf rearers and restrictions on stock movements, including relationships with dairy farmers through grazing contracts and bull leasing”.

Malcolm Bailey, DCANZ chairman, endorses the leadership that Government and farmer organisations are taking to mitigate the impacts of this disease on rural communities. “If left unchecked this disease could have a substantial impact on farming families and their wider communities. An investment in mitigating biosecurity losses is an investment in protecting New Zealand’s regional economic growth.”


For media contacts, please contact:

Sam Halstead