New field staff for Mycoplasma bovis eradication

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The Government has announced that it will attempt to eradicate the cattle disease mycoplasma bovis.

A cow is seen near the fence of a pastoral farm near Auckland August 6, 2013.

In Ashburton, some farmers are anxious that eradicating Mycoplasma bovis will disproportionately hurt their herds through culling.

Mycoplasma bovis was first detected in New Zealand in July past year, and manifests in mastitis in cows, severe pneumonia, ear infections and other symptoms.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is announcing the government's decision at Federated Farmers' headquarters in Wellington.

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Mycoplasma bovis can lead to conditions such as udder infection, pneumonia and arthritis in affected cattle, but does not pose a food safety risk or any risk to humans.

The farming sector of the nation along with the Government has decided upon culling around one hundred twenty-six thousand cows. Picture taken March 12, 2013.

The recently cropped-up bacteria strain has been found on 38 New Zealand farms thus far and, according to officials, is expected to spread.

Farmer Chris Ford says he was very disappointed in the Government's decision. The country is the world's largest exporter of milk and dairy products.

"Standing back and allowing the disease to spread would simply create more anxiety for all farmers", she said.

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They say it will cost hundreds of millions of dollars, and, if successful, would be the first time an infected country has eliminated Mycoplasma bovis.

An internal investigation has been initiated by the cops of the country with the Ministry of Primary Industries in order to find out as to how the cow disease emerged into New Zealand and spread such far affecting both the islands. We have a real chance of eradication to protect our more than 20,000 dairy and beef farms, but only if we act now. "And we have to support them as neighbors, community members, farmers, friends". That's more than two cows per person in the country.

New Zealand is now home to around 10 million cows, two-thirds of which are dairy cows.

Officials say they expect to know by the end of the year whether the eradication plan is working.

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