It would be a world first if successful.
Agriculture Minister Damen O’Connor said: «Based on all the evidence presented to us, we are confident that eradication is possible and that we are on track in what’s a world-first but necessary action to preserve the value of our national herd and economic base.»
Federated Farmers said it was supportive of today’s announcement.
«We are cautiously optimistic, and still have fingers and everything else crossed,» dairy chairman Chris Lewis said.
While there were farmers throughout the country still battling with the aftermath of the disease’s discovery, Federated Farmers said New Zealanders could all start to feel more confident about the outcome of the eradication, and it would be a massive achievement to beat the disease.
«It has caused enormous pain and suffering to the more than 1000 farmers and sharemilkers who have had to get through having the disease either found on their farm, or linked to it,» said Lewis.
«And this work is still going on. We certainly aren’t out of the woods yet.»
DairyNZ said that after a tough 2018 for many dairy farmers who had been tackling Mycoplasma bovis or working hard to prevent it getting on farm, today’s announcement came as a positive indication that eradication was possible.
«DairyNZ has been on this journey since the moment we knew this disease had arrived in New Zealand, and today will come as a relief to many farmers,» says DairyNZ Chair Jim van der Poel.
«The collaborative approach with the government, Beef and Lamb NZ and other partners and organisations has worked extremely well and together we are making a difference to all our farmers.
«It hasn’t been easy for the 1000 farmers affected, whether they were under active surveillance or restriction, or the disease was found on their farm.
«Thank you to everyone involved in the response to Mycoplasma bovis. This has truly been a team effort, not just of those within MPI, DairyNZ or B+LNZ, but also every dairy and beef farmer across New Zealand.»
«How we fund our portion of the response will be determined through a levy consultation in the new year with our farmers. This is important as the government is funding 68 per cent of the costs of the response, and dairy approximately 30 per cent. Dairy farmers will receive information in the post in the new year».