“The decision wasn’t made lightly and reflects our hope that the disease can be eradicated,” says Jim van der Poel, DairyNZ Chair.
“Our farmers have been waiting for almost eleven months on a way forward and part of the challenge has been a lack of certainty about the long-term solution for New Zealand. Today we have that certainty.
“Over 99% of our dairy herds in New Zealand have no signs of this disease, and we want to keep it that way.
“DairyNZ has been actively – and passionately – working on behalf of our farmers to find a solution. We know that moving towards eradication will be a devastating decision for some, and will mean that thousands of animals will have to be culled.
“This was not an easy decision to make for those reasons, and our hearts and thoughts are with the farmers that have affected herds.
“We are here to support those farmers, and have given a commitment that we will, alongside the Ministry and other sector groups, drive down the driveway of every affected farm to give that support,” Mr van der Poel says.
“At the same time, we must also focus on the thousands of farmers and millions of dairy cows that have not been affected by M. bovis. Taking this one chance to eradicate means that we could get rid of this disease from New Zealand.
“Having this disease can be disastrous for a herd. The animals may get sick and there are significant animal welfare issues – something no farmer wants their animals to go through. There is also an impact on production that has serious ramifications for farmers, the dairy sector and our economy.
“We have had to weigh up all these impacts when making the decision and I’m pleased that we finally have a way forward.”
Senior Engagement and Communications Manager
021 930 836