[29 May/Radio NZ]

Experts are warning that the bid to eradicate Mycoplasma bovis outbreak could have disastrous knock-on effects on farmers mental health. The Government announced it was committed to eradicating the illness with a ten year plan that would cost around $886 million. Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, said they had one shot at eliminating the disease. Since its discovery last year, 41 farms have been confirmed as infected. Around 11,000 cattle have already been slaughtered. Some believe culling is the way forward, however others say the cull may trigger suicides among owners of infected cattle. One man believed the next lot of suicide figures in the next twelve months would show an escalation due to the mass cull. VetSouth Winton Managing Director, Mark Bryan, supported the move but acknowledged the potential impact it would have on the owners of the infected herds. Southland Rural Support Trust Chairman, John Kennedy, agreed the government made the right call, but was not surprised many were opposed to it.