New Zealand Plans To Kill 150,000 Cows

Henrietta Brewer
May 30, 2018

The New Zealand government is taking drastic measures to try and end a bacterial disease that is plaguing the nation's cattle.

The Mycoplasma bovis outbreak was the "rainy day" the government was planning for, Ardern said.

Mycoplasma bovis was first detected in New Zealand in July 2017.

"But the alternative is the spread of the disease across our national herd", Ardern said, adding that it was vital to protect farming, a key sector of New Zealand's economy. Picture taken March 12, 2013. A $16m "loss of production" cost will be borne by affected farmers.

Farmer Chris Ford says he was very disappointed in the Government's decision.


She said the cull, the majority of which would take place over the next two years, would aim to eradicate the disease completely.

Home to some 6.6 million cows, New Zealand is one of the world's largest exporters of dairy products.

The slaughtered cattle may be used for beef, or buried on farms or in landfill.

The New Zealand government is expected to foot two-thirds of the hefty $560 million tab, while the cattle industry will pay the remainder.

Officials carrying out the cull "have the legal authority to forcibly enter farms and kill animals even in cases where a farmer might resist, but they said they hope they don't have to use those powers", Bloomberg reports.


Katie Milne, the national president of the advocacy group "Federated Farmers", emphasised the support that will be needed for farmers, however, failed to mention the 150,000 cows that will be slaughtered.

No country has managed to eradicate Mycoplasma bovis so far. "And we have to support them as neighbors, community members, farmers, friends".

The disease has been found on 38 farms in New Zealand so far, and it's because of it's relatively low numbers, affecting less than one percent of dairy farms, that eradication is highly possible according to DairyNZ Chairman Jim van der Poel.

It is unclear whether she made any mention of the 150,000 cows set to die as part of the eradication attempt.


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