New Zealand is trying to eradicate painful illnesses from herds of 10 million cows after a four-year campaign that cost hundreds of millions of dollars and killed more than 175,000 cows.
Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor removed Mycoplasma bovis from 271 farms on Thursday, leaving only one farm in the country Bacterial infectious disease.. New Zealand will be the first country to successfully wipe it out.
In an interview with The Associated Press, O’Connor said it was a traumatic process for the affected farmers. When an infection was found on the farm, even healthy cattle were killed to ensure eradication of the disease.
“I think all the farmers were very dissatisfied with the need to see their herds culled,” O’Connor said. “These are the people who have Strong connection, Their commitment and investment in animals. “
Agriculture is the country’s largest source of export income and is essential to its economy. When Mycoplasma bovis was first discovered in New Zealand in 2017, it prompted a great response from the government and concluded that there was a one-off opportunity to clear the disease before it became widespread.
Mycoplasma bovis, found in cattle in the United States and Europe, is a bacterium that can cause mastitis, pneumonia, arthritis, and other painful conditions in cattle.Bacteria are not considered a threat Food safetyHowever, the resulting bovine illness can cause distress and reduce milk and beef yields.
According to O’Connor, the last farm of the disease was a feed yard where cattle began to fatten before slaughter. He said the farm would clear up the disease later this year and then need more months of surveillance across the country to declare victory.
He said the New Zealand campaign is groundbreaking.
“It’s very important, and M. I think other countries with Bovis want to know more about their options for eradication as well,” O’Connor said.
He said the final cost of the eradication program could be just below the budget of NZ $ 886 million ($ 580 million), which would be used for operations, monitoring and compensation. .. The government covers most of the tabs, and farmers and the cattle industry also contribute.
It is unclear how the disease first invaded New Zealand, which has strict biosecurity controls. One theory is that it arrived with imported bull semen.
Fiona Doolan Noble, Senior Researcher at the University of Otago, Eradication programSaid Government officials At first she might have been able to do a better job by listening to the expertise of local veterinarians and farmers, but she thought her communication had improved over time.
She said that not only the disease but also the experience of COVID-19 could re-invade New Zealand, but there was growing awareness of the need for stricter biosecurity measures.
New Zealand has 6.3 million cows and 4 million cows beef cattle, Make the herd twice the size of its population. Dairy products are the largest single export product in the country, many of which are sold and used in China. Infant formula..
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said a government partnership with people in the agricultural industry was essential to the success of the program.
“When we took our one-shot to eradicate, we protected the nation’s herds from painful illnesses, to protect the economy from sudden shocks, and ours. Rural community From widespread anxiety. ”
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New Zealand on the verge of clearing painful cattle disease
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