Meat & Livestock News

Farmers Invited to Comment on the M. bovis Eradication Proposal


Farmers across the UK are being prompted to share their views on the proposed transition of the Mycoplasma bovis (M. bovis) eradication scheme into the National Pest Management Plan (NPMP). This move marks the programme’s advancement to its next phase.

Kelvan Smith, the chair of the M. bovis governance group, highlighted that the eradication collaborators – DairyNZ, Beef+Lamb New Zealand, and the Ministry for Primary Industries – are keen to gather feedback from the farming community.

He acknowledged the significant progress made, with no active confirmed infections in New Zealand. However, he emphasised the challenges faced in reaching this milestone and the importance of minimising future disruptions for farmers.

Key Details:

OSPRI has been proposed as the managing agency for the NPMP. Smith pointed out potential savings of up to $15m by integrating the M. bovis programme with the NAIT and TBFree plans, thanks to their natural synergies.

He stressed the importance of the NAIT system in tracing cattle that might have been exposed to infected counterparts.

The programme can evolve and bolster New Zealand’s biosecurity measures by consolidating resources and expertise.

Smith noted that farmers’ efforts and sacrifices in enhancing on-farm biosecurity have been commendable. Their significant role in the programme’s success is undeniable.

As the focus shifts to background surveillance in the coming years, a revised model is essential to ensure optimal value for taxpayers and farmer levy contributors.

While the proposed model is expected to have minimal impact on farmers and rural groups directly affected by M. bovis, feedback is sought on several key changes. These include:

  • Establishing a National Plan with OSPRI as the designated agency.
  • The introduction of 15 rules to support the eradication goal.
  • A reduced National Plan levy to fund the remainder of the programme.

Smith emphasised the importance of farmer input, stating, “The NPMP is open for consultation, and we aim for a model that benefits all, particularly those most affected by M. bovis.”

Public consultation is scheduled from 14 August to 25 September. Comprehensive details on the NPMP proposal and submission guidelines are available on the MPI website.

By the Numbers (August 2023):

  • Active Confirmed Properties: 0
  • Cleared Confirmed Properties: 280
  • Notices of Direction Applied: 2674
  • Tests Completed: 3,288,732
  • Total Compensation Paid: $256.2 million
  • Compensation Claims Settled: 2901