[1 March/The Country]

Tracking and tracing the spread of Mycoplasma bovis and compensating farmers could cost about $95 million according to the Ministry for Primary Industries. MPI Director of Readiness and Response, Geoff Gwyn, said the disease has been confirmed at 26 properties which are part of the 43 properties under a restricted place notice. Mr Gwyn noted that the Ministry has investigated several ways to fast track compensation as they were mindful of the effect cash flow has on businesses. The disease was first confirmed in July on two farms in South Canterbury. It presents no food safety risk, however it can cause a range of symptoms in cattle. MPI Director-General, Martyn Dunne, added that the Ministry is still optimistic that they can eradicate the disease, and that they have gone back to the government to seek funding.