Farmers urged to keep records up to date

MPI director general Martyn Dunne
MPI director general Martyn Dunne
Go home and check your records are up to date, Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI) Mycoplasma bovis regional controller David Lindsey says.

Mr Lindsey, who has the job to ''contain the organism'', was speaking to more than 600 farmers, industry leaders, representatives and community members at an open meeting in Ashburton on May 30 to discuss the eradication announcement of M. bovis.

He said the first point of call in the response was surveillance - to track and trace the movement of cattle.

It went hand in hand with records, which needed to be up to date.

To be able to control and contain, knowledge was needed on where cattle had gone to, he said.

''It speeds up the whole job.''

''Go home and check your records are up to date,'' he said.

Mr Lindsey was at the meeting to answer questions from those present about the eradication process and ''what it means at the sharp end on the ground''.

''I'm not saying it will be easy, it's not. It will be quite a tough journey,'' he told those present.

''We will get through it.''

Earlier in the meeting, MPI director general Martyn Dunne said a spike in the number of notice of directions a month ago had meant a decision was needed on how to continue with M. bovis. The decision needed to be made quickly before the disease took hold further and got out of control.

The Government, along with the dairy and beef industries, agreed to try to eradicate M. bovis, to completely eradicate it from New Zealand's dairy and beef herds.

Most of the eradication work was expected to be done in one to two years.

It was expected to cost $886million, spread over 10 years.

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