Biosecurity

Ministry defends kauri dieback programme performance

[5 July/Radio NZ] The Ministry for Primary Industries defended its leadership of the kauri dieback programme. Dr Amanda Black of the Lincoln University Bio-Protection Research Centre said the programme was a trainwreck. She added there was week governance around the programme, and people involved with management of the programme did not know how to procure...

More M. bovis disclosure wanted – Whanganui farmers

[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...

Mycoplasma bovis: Four of 10 experts recommended managing disease

[25 June/Radio NZ] A panel of experts that was set up to advise the Government on Mycoplasma bovis has provided more details on its six to four vote in favour of eradication over management. The option of culling infected animals and using continual testing to work towards eradication was chosen out of four options. Six...

OSPRI boss resigns

[25 June/Rural News] OSPRI Chief Executive, Michelle Edge, has resigned and will leave the organisation in September. Ms Edge said the company had achieved significant outcomes over the past three years, including a complete restructure and change management and business improvement programme. She added it had achieved significant developments in terms of its core programmes....

Four more M bovis farms confirmed

[25 June/Stuff] Four more South Island sheep and beef farms had been confirmed as being infected with Mycoplasma bovis taking the total infected properties to over 50. The farms were in Tapanui, Invercargill, Waimate and Darfield. The Ministry for Primary Industries said 53 farms had been confirmed with Mycoplasma bovis, with 11 of the farms...

Joint operation to check NAIT compliance

[22 June/Rural Life] Knowledge of the National Animal Identification and Tracing (NAIT) system has increased due to the Mycoplasma bovis response, however some farmers continued to break the rules. Compliance Investigations Manager, Gary Orr, said the Ministry for Primary Industries and NAIT had been running joint operations across the country to check compliance. The disease...

Federated Farmers asks rural school to ban calves

[22 June/The Country] Traditional pet days at rural schools could be banned until the threat of Mycoplasma bovis is removed. Federated Farmers is asking schools to exclude all breeds of calves from their 2018 Ag Day programmes to reduce the risk of infection being transmitted between calves being transported to schools. Lambs, goats and other...

Biosecurity onus on all of us, says Minister of Agriculture Damien O’Connor

[13 June/NZ Herald] Agriculture and Biosecurity Minister, Damien O’Connor, said all New Zealanders needed to participate in biosecurity as a reflex action. He told KPMG’s Fieldays Agribusiness Leaders’ Breakfast about the Government’s Biosecurity 2025 direction. An important part was to create better understanding of the importance of biosecurity for every New Zealander. He noted thinking...

Economists concerned by risk of mycoplasma bovis

[7 June/The Country] According to economists, economic risks associated with Mycoplasma bovis were rising. Last week, the eradication attempt was announced at a cost of $886 million, and the slaughter of 126,000 cattle. BNZ Senior Economist, Doug Steel, said there was more to it than just the initial impact on production from culling cows. Costs...

Envoy recommends eradication

[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...

M bovis count adds up to Wairarapa farm infection

[7 June/Radio NZ] A sheep and beef farm in Wairarapa tested positive for the devastating cattle disease Mycoplasma bovis. MPI unit, Biosecurity New Zealand, said the farm near Masterton was located through the tracing of animal movements from other affected farms. The property was under legal controls which restricted the movement of animals and other...

ANZ offers M. bovis assistance package

 [1 June/Dairy News] ANZ said it would provide an assistance package to help Mycoplasma-bovis affected cattle farmers. It is in response the Government’s announcement stating it would work with farming sector leaders to eradicate the disease. The package would help farmers meet their short term cash flow requirements. ANZ Bank’s Managing Director Commercial and Agri,...

Between the devil and the deep: D-day for Mycoplasma bovis call

[28 May/NZ Herald] Mycoplasma bovis’ first New Zealand victim, Aad van Leeuwen said overseas dairy rivals were laughing as the Government killed New Zealand’s cows in an overreaction to the discovery of the disease. Reports suggest the potential cost to control the disease would be around $1 billion. Mycoplasma bovis was an animal welfare issue...

Solution for M bovis goes down to wire, expected to cost $1b

[25 May/Radio NZ] Regardless of the chosen solution, Mycoplasma bovis is expected to cost around $1 billion. Industry leaders have been discussing issues with the government which would form the basis of the paper that would go to Cabinet. Federated Farmers President, Katie Milne, said they were nearing consensus around what to do with the...

Infected farm’s use of distant vet concerns

[25 May/Rural Life] The New Zealand Veterinary Association expressed concern over the use of distance veterinary services in light of news the farm at the centre of the Mycoplasma bovis outbreak was using a vet clinic 1,600km away. Vets on Waiheke Manager, Stephen Gilmore, confirmed they were the vets responsible for the Zeestraten herd. NZVA...

Long term decision on cattle disease eradication planned in next seven days

[21 May/Stuff] Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern met with Waikato farming leaders and will decide within the next week which direction to take to stop the spread of Mycoplasma bovis. The disease has been found in 38 farms. The disease was a blow to Waikato farmers, and Ms Ardern wanted to hear firsthand from those impacted...

First case of cattle disease in North Canterbury found

[9 May/Radio NZ] Mycoplasma bovis was found on a North Canterbury farm, which brought the total number of properties with the disease up to 36. Ministry for Primary Industries Spokesperson, Catherine Duthie, said it was identified through the tracing of animals from known infected farms. She added it did not mean the disease was spreading,...

Cow disease may be in every region: Damien O’Connor

[14 May/NZ Herald] Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor warned that Mycoplasma bovis could be in every region of the country. He said it was the sad reality that other farms would come back as infected. Animals that had been moved to other regions were being tracked and it was possible they would come back as infected...

Popular Waitakere Ranges tracks reopen

[5 May/Radio NZ] Two popular tracks in the Waitakere Ranges were reopened after work to prevent the spread of kauri dieback. Large parts of the ranges were closed as Auckland Council joined local iwi to fight the disease that is fatal to kauri. Two of the tracks had been upgraded to make it harder for...

‘Mycoplasma bovis’ cases still rising

[3 May/Rural Life] In the latest update, the Ministry for Primary Industries confirmed there were 37 farms with the Mycoplasma bovis disease. However, the current number stood at 32 because of recent cullings. There is one North Island location in the Hawke’s Bay. Fifty two properties were under movement restrictions. The update said that the...

M bovis battle: Govt risks ‘burying’ biosecurity problems

[4 May/Radio NZ] Agriculture Minister, Damien O’Connor, wants farmers to pay 40 percent of the $1 billion cost of eradicating Mycoplasma bovis, however National said it was well outside the agreed GIA framework. National Party Agricultural Spokesperson, Nathan Guy, leaked details of the expected costs of different options to deal with the disease, and accused...

‘Hellish’ spread of wild kiwifruit prompts ‘pest’ call from lobby group

[29 April/Stuff] New Zealand kiwifruit growers enjoy some of the best growing conditions in the world, but those conditions look set to bite back. Outbreaks of wild kiwifruit are threatening to carry diseases and harmful insects through the country’s native bush. The spread has caused it to be recognised as a pest. Kiwifruit Vine Health...

Government launches new biosecurity intelligence unit

[30 April/Stuff] The Ministry for Primary Industries has unveiled its future-focused biosecurity intelligence squad. The early waning squad was still in development but would work closely with its Australian counterparts. Biosecurity Minister, Damien O’Connor, said intelligence would be shared with both Australia and industry sectors. Mr O’Connor said the unit would use smarter technology and...

Rabbit virus taking hold, says ORC

[16 April/Rural Life] Tests from samples in Otago indicated deaths have been occurring since the release of the RHDV1 K5 virus. The Otago Regional Council said patience was paying off for landowners who were waiting for the virus to take hold. ORC Director of Environmental Monitoring and Operations, Scott MacLean, said the news was good...