[27 March/Rural Life]

The Ministry for Primary Industries announced it would cull 22,332 cattle at sites infected with Mycoplasma Bovis as a tragic necessity. Federated Farmers North Otago Dairy Chairman, Lyndon Strang, said it was the right thing for agriculture and that he hoped the compensation process happened quickly. The government approved $85 million in funding. Mr Strang said farmers were in support of the cull and that they would need moral support. VetSouth Director of Mycoplasma Bovis Action and Support Southland, Mark Bryan, added farmers whose cattle were infected knew a cull was necessary. MPI response director, Geoff Gwynn, said the Ministry was working with farmers around the logistics of the cull. Non-infected farms under restricted places were not asked to cull herds at this point. Agriculture and Biosecurity Minister, Damien O’Connor, said the culling would give farmers certainty about their futures.