Mycoplasma bovis - a year in reflection

A number of people have questioned what Federated Farmers role has and should be in biosecurity events – and what we have done over the last year on Mycoplasma bovis.

While it has certainly not been plain sailing and there are some valuable lessons learned, Feds has achieved some major wins.
  • As chair of the livestock sector council a template for determining Crown/Industry contributions to livestock sector incursions enabled a solid cost share agreement to be reached on Mycoplasma bovis.
  • Early in the piece, Feds gained MPI assurance that owners of infected herds would get full market compensation for cattle culled and that Variable Order Sharemilkers and Contract Milkers would receive compensation.
  • Feds has waved the warning flag as seasonal farming activities meant that areas needed to be addressed sooner rather than later, such as bull and semen testing last year, calf feeding for this spring, winter grazing and pushing for feed for those forced to keep stock on farm longer than anticipated.
  • Once agreement was in place for industry funding Feds achieved a change in MPI policy where industry personnel embedded in the response were paid by MPI ultimately to funded out of the joint industry/MPI cost share agreement.
On a daily basis Federated Farmers staff and elected officials have been advocating hard on behalf of individual farmers and contributing in the overall response decisions.  We are acutely aware of farmer frustration still out there about the processes that aren’t fast enough e.g. compensation agreements and speed of receiving money, testing results, and permits to move stock to other properties.  This is why we remain involved.

Federated Farmers continues to participate on the issues through working groups and at higher governance levels. The response is effectively now a joint industry/MPI response under the GIA (Government Industry Agreement) framework led jointly by MPI, Beef+Lamb and DairyNZ.