[1 October/The Country]

Federated Farmers Northland President, John Blackwell, said a ho-hum attitude to wandering stock highlighted ignorance around biosecurity. The Northland Council found cows wandering, and placed them in a nearby paddock without telling the property owner. The farmer noticed his own heifers socialising with the lost stock. Mr Blackwell added that was unacceptable and it should have been especially obvious due to the recent Mycoplasma bovis outbreak. Mr Blackwell said the farmer had to track down the owner himself. He noted Federated Farmers believed councils needed to do more to get on top of the continued ignorance around biosecurity risk, and how to use the animal tracking system NAIT. Mr Blackwell would not identify the specific council involved, but said biosecurity was the responsibility of all New Zealanders.