fbpx
Print this page
Friday, 19 July 2019 09:55

Questions over M. bovis communication

Written by 
Left to right: RCNZ’s Roger Parton, Fed Farmers’ Gavin Forrest and MPI’s Joe Stockman at the RCNZ Nelson conference. Left to right: RCNZ’s Roger Parton, Fed Farmers’ Gavin Forrest and MPI’s Joe Stockman at the RCNZ Nelson conference.

Rural contractors have challenged MPI and Federated Farmers over the management of Mycoplasma bovis.

At the Rural Contractors NZ conference, held in Nelson last month, re-elected RCNZ president David Kean led the questioning on disease. 

He says a second round of M. bovis was being suggested on some Southland farms and contractors were no better off than the first time in knowing whether a farm was infected or not. 

Kean added that using TracMap, contractors like him could visit three farms a day without direct contact with a farmer, raising the risk of spreading the infection. Taranaki’s Chris Satherley claimed that MPI had put contractors in a terrible position and if eradication was sought, the names of affected properties had to be communicated. 

Federated Farmers general manager for policy and advocacy, Gavin Forrest, told the conference that all farms with infected herds were required to have signs on their gate and it was traumatic enough for farming families without the risk of victimisation. 

RCNZ chief executive Roger Parton explained that contractors had to travel from farm to farm, so knowing which farms were suspected of having M. bovis would allow them to take appropriate measures and not expand the risk. Forrest said if contractors were washing down equipment between farms the chances of spread were virtually nil.

MPI’s Joe Stockman told the conference the primary sources for transfer were cow-to-cow contact and contaminated milk. He also claimed some farmers had not given a “sh!t” about keeping NAIT records, which had not helped. 

Stockman added that 176 properties were under investigation for M. bovis, making it the most challenging biosecurity issue farmers had ever faced. 

But he pointed out there were 22,000 farms nationally and fewer infected dairy herds were emerging and the disease was not moving into beef herds.

The conference was told farm biosecurity issues were not limited to M. bovis. Helen Slattery, who sits on a national committee dealing with velvetleaf, said some farmers had been driven near to suicide over the invasive pest.

More like this

China back on track?

Life in China is starting to get back to some semblance of normality, according to MPI’s deputy director general of China Relations.

Feds’ election wish list

Federated Farmers has released its election manifesto, advising the incoming government on the policies farmers want.

MPI says it will act

MPI says it takes the claims made by Jane Li seriously and where it has evidence that exporters are not meeting their requirements, it will take action.

Featured

 

Limited feed puts ewes at risk

Severe feed shortages in parts of the country mean many ewes are on a nutritional knife-edge heading into lambing and could be at risk of developing metabolic disorders.

Jack’s unique solution

Jason Jack was left with severe spinal injuries after a wakeboarding accident when he was 29, but that hasn’t stopped him getting out and about in difficult environments.

National

A ticking time bomb

Our dairy industry risks being exposed to a ‘ticking time bomb’ of unethical players unlawfully passing off New Zealand-made and…

Nervous wait for winter

The unknown of what winter will bring is very much on the mind of the Hawkes Bay Rural Support Trust…

Be careful, Potatoes NZ!

Moves by the NZ potato industry to have anti-dumping tariffs imposed on European imports could play into the hands of…

China keeps dairy prices high

Whole milk powder (WMP) prices are now sitting above pre-Covid-19 levels and New Zealand farmers can thank a resurging Chinese…

Machinery & Products

Hydrogen excavator a first

While most motive industries are focused on hybrid or EV power plants, JCB has developed the construction industry’s first hydrogen-powered…

Jack’s unique solution

Jason Jack was left with severe spinal injuries after a wakeboarding accident when he was 29, but that hasn’t stopped…

HP and digital tech combo

The latest New Holland T8 GENESIS is said to capitalise on the productive combinations of Stage V horsepower and digital…