Thanks to a national effort from New Zealand dairy farmers in response to Mycoplasma bovis (M. bovis), the Biosecurity (Response – Milksolids) Levy will reduce from 2.4 cents per kilogram of milksolids to 0.8 cents per kilogram of milksolids from 1 July 2024.

“When the sector works well together, we get results,” says DairyNZ chair Jim van der Poel.

“The 66 percent reduction in the levy dairy farmers pay reflects the good progress made in response to M. bovis. While we may still see a few more cases, we are now approaching the surveillance phase and costs have reduced, thanks to a combined effort.”

The M. bovis Programme is now six years into a 10-year eradication plan with currently no active, confirmed properties. DairyNZ is a partner in the programme, with the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) and Beef + Lamb NZ.

DairyNZ chair Jim van der Poel.

DairyNZ director Chris Lewis says the decision to reduce the Biosecurity Response Levy was made with confidence.

“We’re in a good place right now and this levy reduction will be some relief to dairy farmers, ensuring they do not pay more than is required. The programme to eradicate M. bovis has been at a huge financial and emotional cost to New Zealand farmers, yet the cost of letting it spread would have been much higher.”

The M. bovis eradication programme has cost around $722 million to date. It was estimated the cost of letting it spread would have been $1.3 billion in lost productivity in the first 10 years alone.

Lewis says that around 98 percent of New Zealand dairy farmers have helped the 2 percent of farmers affected by M. bovis. “The Biosecurity Response Levy has been invaluable in the response to M. bovis. Without the collective effort of dairy farmers pitching in, we wouldn’t be where we are today with a stronger, more resilient biosecurity system.”

This is an important time too to highlight that good biosecurity practices and keeping NAIT records up to date will ensure the risk of M. bovis and other livestock diseases are minimised.

About the Biosecurity (Response – Milksolids) Levy

The industry cost share for the M. bovis Programme is 32 percent of the total cost, with DairyNZ paying 94 percent and Beef + Lamb NZ paying 6 percent of the industry cost share of eradication. The Biosecurity (Response – Milksolids) Levy is managed by DairyNZ and paid to MPI. Levy funds can only be spent on response of an incursion, therefore the levy is adjusted to meet the dairy response cost obligations. It is separate from the DairyNZ milksolids levy under the Commodity Levies Act which is invested on farmers’ behalf.

Find out more about the Biosecurity Response Levy and DairyNZ’s commitment to the Government Industry Agreement at dairynz.co.nz/biosecuritylevy

Media contact
Kelly Spring
Corporate Communications and Media Manager
p 027 548 9741
e kelly.spring@dairynz.co.nz

Page last updated:

4 Jun 2024