New Zealand forced to slaughter 150,000 cows


New Zealand will slaughter more than 100,000 cows in an effort to eradicate a bacterial disease.

Found in Europe and the USA, the bacteria can cause cows to develop mastitis, pneumonia, arthritis and other diseases.

Ardern said "we are taking this opportunity because this is our one opportunity. we know that other countries exist with this diseases but we want New Zealand to be free of it and this is our opportunity to be that country".

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

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.

New Zealand is the world's largest exporter of dairy products, and produces 3% of the world's milk.

The government said it would bear around two-thirds of the cost, while farmers and the cattle industry will pay the rest.

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The disease was discovered in July a year ago and since then 41 farms have been confirmed as infected. The cost of attempting to eradicate this bacterial infection, which only affects cattle, is also staggering with the estimate now $886 million.

About 26,000 cattle have been killed since the disease was detected and at least a further 128,000 are likely to be killed.

"We will work with MPI and industry groups to make sure the system to support farmers is robust and delivers well into the future", Katie says.

According to reports, the officials in New Zealand have the right to kill the cows and enter any farm if they doubt that the farm might be affected.

"This is a necessary, unfortunate part of not having yet a test that clearly identifies the individual animals", he said.

The Prime Minister's disappointed at the speed of compensation for Mycoplasma Bovis culled animals.

An investigation launched by the country's Ministry of Primary Industries to determine how the bacteria wound up in the country is still ongoing. Norway is now the only one. You can sign up to receive it directly here.