[9 February/NZ Farmer]

According to the National Primary Industries’ spokesman, Nathan Guy, compensation for farmers who were affected by the Mycoplasma bovis cattle disease could exceed $100 million. However, Mr Guy added that farmers would likely be told to learn to live with the disease once the Cabinet had decided their spending priorities. He noted that compensation for farmers had effectively stopped, however retrospective payments might be made. Agriculture Minister, Damien O’Connor, said all compensation claims are being processed by MPI as they were received and have never been put on hold. An MPI spokesperson confirmed that Aad and Wilma van Leeuwen, who owned the farm where the disease was first discovered, had received compensation. Mr O’Connor explained that eradication is still the government’s goal, however tough decisions needed to be made in the short term.