Attempts to eradicate Mycoplasma Bovis in New Zealand is a world first – and dairy experts are sceptical over whether Mycoplasma bovis can actually be eradicated here.
Taking on Mycoplasma bovis is a challenge no Government in the world has successfully achieved, and there’s no guarantee it will work.
Lincoln University professor Keith Woodford said there is potential for it to work.
“It’s going to be a big challenge, but thankfully there’s some off-ramps in spring if it’s not working.”
Veterinarian Alan Piercy warns there needs to be more transparency from the Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI) if New Zealand is to have any chance of success.
“I think MPI needs to tell us who the experts are and what their credentials are and what experience they may or may not have in actually dealing with an outbreak,” he said.
The disease is found on farms around the world – including Australia, the UK and the US – but none have succeeded in eradicating it.
“We really need to know exactly how they think they can do it, when no one else could; what testing they’re going to use,” Mr Piercy said.
He said the eradication needs to be precise in order for it to work.
“Otherwise we’re going to spend a heck of a lot of money and upset a heck of a lot of people and get nowhere.”
The Government is taking on a decade-long battle the rest of the world has chosen to accept and manage instead.
By: Emma Cropper