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Govt's mycoplasma bovis response was traumatic for affected farmers

The Government's poorly managed mycoplasma bovis response inflicted significant and lasting trauma on affected farmers, according to a new study.

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That's according to an Otago University study looking at the impact on rural communities in the south after the discovery of the disease in 2017. Source: 1 NEWS

The Otago University study looked at the impact on rural communities in the south after the discovery of the disease in 2017.

Around 180,000 animals were culled on more than 250 farms in a bid to eradicate the disease.

The study found the intrusive, impractical and inhumane nature of the eradication programme ignored local knowledge in favour of inefficient processes which upset farmers.

As of 6 June, only six of the properties are considered as currently infected with the mycoplasma bovis, according to the Ministry of Primary Industries. 

Mycoplasma bovis programme director Stuart Anderson told 1 NEWS they've been "very focused" on the welfare of the farming community with their response. 

"We know the M Bovis eradication effort has been especially challenging for the farmers involved, and even when the process goes as intended... It is tough for those affected." 

Anderson said MPI has listened to feedback from farmers, improving its compensation procedures to allow claims to be paid as quickly as possible. 

"Building this eradication programme from scratch has not been without substantial challenges, and the impact on affected farmers, their whanau and workers can't be underestimated.

"It's been tough, particularly so in the early years."