Biosecurity and Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor extended his thanks and congratulations to the Southland farming community for reaching a landmark zero cases of the cattle disease Mycoplasma bovis.
“Southland farmers were really hard hit by this disease and they’ve done the hard yards to get to this point. Full credit to them for the sacrifices they have made for the national good,” Damien O’Connor said.
“At the height of the response there were 27 active properties, today (August 10 2020) there are none, that’s a remarkable achievement and a testament to the cooperation shown between farmers, government and industry groups.
“This is a 10-year programme so we need to expect that new cases will pop up from time to time, but I think it’s important to acknowledge and celebrate success along the way.
“We can’t afford to take our foot off the pedal though. Farmers need to ensure all their animals are tagged and recorded in the National Animal Identification and Tracing (NAIT) system to ensure we can trace them should we need to.
“There’s no excuse now for farmers not knowing what they need to do to be compliant and I was very pleased to see last week a successful prosecution of a Waikato farmer for not registering 152 of his cattle. Behaviour like this makes a mockery of the heartbreak affected farmers and their families have gone through.
“If we’re going to be the first country in the world to beat this disease, every cattle farmer in the country has to play their part.”
Source: NZ Government