Health Care

New Zealand Orders Mass Cattle Cull To Eradicate Disease

New Zealand Orders Mass Cattle Cull To Eradicate Disease

New Zealand will slaughter more than 100,000 cows in an effort to eradicate a bacterial disease.

The bacterium known as Mycoplasma Bovis causes pneumonia and arthritis in cattle, as well as udder infection and miscarriages, although it does not affect humans or pose a food safety hazard.

"This is a tough call", said Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.

WELLINGTON, New Zealand - New Zealand plans to slaughter about 150,000 cows as it tries to eradicate a strain of disease-causing bacteria from the national herd.

Cabinet's decision to opt for eradication of Mycoplasma bovis from New Zealand is a bold one and probably the right one, but will involve a lot of anguish and pain for farmers and must be closely scrutinised right through the programme.

New Zealand's dairy sector contributes about NZ$7.8 billion annually to the country's gross domestic product and accounts for around a fifth of the country's exports.

However, many healthy cattle will also be killed in the cull.

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The greenback is poised to turn in its best monthly performance against a basket of trading partners' currencies .DXY since 2015. The 10-year Italian government bond yield jumped to 3.19% bond prices fell, compared to just under 2% around two weeks ago.

"This is a tough time, and the pain and anguish [affected farmers] are going to go through is really disgusting", said Katie Milne, the organisation's president.

1 NEWS visited a Canterbury farmer hugely affected by the cattle cull, announced by the government yesterday. It has 6.6m dairy cows.

Federated Farmers National President Katie Milne said the process represents a "rough time" for the farmers, adding that they "have to support them as neighbours, community members, farmers, friends".

Mycoplasma bovis has not been eradicated from any country where it has been found. "This is a necessary, unfortunate part of not having a test that clearly identifies the individual animals yet".

The problem with Mycoplasma bovis is that it's hard to detect and doesn't respond to antibiotics.

Erin VanDyke lives on her family farm and has more than 35 years of hands-on experience with the use of livestock guard dogs for predator control.

Officials say they should know by the end of the year whether the eradication plan is working.


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