Mycoplasma bovis: Number of infected properties rises

The number of properties confirmed as being infected with Mycoplasma bovis has risen to 23.

The latest properties were in Southland and the Waitaki district, the Ministry for Primary Industries confirmed.

The number of properties issued with restricted place notices has risen from 34 to 38. Yesterday, Agriculture and Biosecurity Minister Damien O'Connor said compensation claims
from affected farmers had never been put on hold, despite that suggestion from National's Primary Industries spokesman Nathan Guy.

In a statement, Mr Guy, who was Primary Industries Minister when the Mycoplasma bovis outbreak was first detected on a farming operation in the Waimate district in July last year, said
there was no good news for those farmers dealing with its spread.

"Mr O'Connor remains silent on committing the necessary funding to eradicate it as stock culling and compensation is currently on hold.

"My fear is that any bid to Cabinet for funding for eradication and then compensation will get ignored because of other big-spending priorities outside of the primary sector," he said.

Compensation was available for damage or destruction of property or restrictions imposed under the Biosecurity Act 1993 on the movement or disposal of a person's goods.

Good record-keeping was essential to any claim, MPI said earlier.

When asked to respond, Mr O'Connor said the response had been sped up and it was closer to a clearer indication on the extent of the spread.

Decisions around eradication would then follow.

All compensation claims were being processed by MPI as they were received, he said.

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