[26 June/The Country]

Farmers want to know whether their neighbours have the Mycoplasma bovis disease, however the Ministry for Primary Industries has been avoiding outing infected farms to the public. Biosecurity Minister, Damien O’Connor, said it would now directly inform the neighbours of infected or high risk farms. It would also list the NAIT numbers of every infected cattle beast on its website. Mr O’Connor added it was a measured step that balanced the privacy concerns of individuals with the need for farmers to protect their farms. Federated Farmers Dairy Chairman, Chris Davison, said farmers wanted to know where the disease was. He had a dairy herd of 1,000 cows and brought in bulls for mating every year. If he knew his neighbour had the disease, he would immediately look to strengthen boundary fences to prevent it being transferred between cattle. There are now 42 infected properties.