Cabinet paper sheds light on M bovis decision

The Ministry for Primary Industries has released a 32 page paper outlining the decision-making process behind eradication.

Four management options were discussed in response to the disease situation:  Rapid eradication, phased eradication, transition to long term management; and transition to wind down the response.

The independent Technical Advisory Group (TAG) were split on the issue, with four members no longer believing eradication to be achievable, and the other six differing on their views of when eradication would no longer be possible. 

Minister of Agriculture and Biosecurity Damian O'Connor favoured phased eradication, though acknowledged it would take 8-10 years to fully achieve. 

The report noted farmer welfare as a major concern, citing the risk of mental health impacts and the potential for "self harming or worse".

Industry leaders from Dairy NZ, Beef + Lamb, the Meat Industry Association and Dairy Companies of NZ all confirmed their support of phased eradication as their preferred option for combating the disease.

The report notes that the feasibility and costs of eradication would be reassessed later this year, following spring testing, when the disease is at its most detectable. It also reveals that the risk of re-entry still remains. 

According to MPI, as of June 27, the total number of 'active' Infected Properties sits at 41. Additionally, 71 properties are under restricted place notice, 118 under notice of direction, and 135 under assessment. 

The Industry now holds it's breath in preparation for Spring, when the effectiveness of the phased eradication strategy will be made more clear. 

The full Cabinet paper, Mycoplasma bovis response options, can be viewed here