[11 June/Otago Daily Times]

New Zealand special agricultural trade envoy, Mike Petersen, said Mycoplasma bovis was more serious than reports had so far indicated. He said in Europe it was a difficult disease with impacts on farms, and could be fatal for some livestock. He believed the decision to eradicate the disease was the right decision and was pleased to see the Government and industry working together on the response. He emphasised the importance of reinforcing New Zealand food safety and traceability remained world class. Reassuring consumers the disease did not infect humans and was not a food safety risk was key. Mr Petersen was sympathetic for the farmers affected by the disease, and whose animals were going to be slaughtered.