Friday, June 15, 2018

Farmers covering up their epidemic

The government is currently trying to eradicate Mycoplasma Bovis, at huge expense to the taxpayer. But there's a problem: farmers are refusing to cooperate:

A crucial part of the puzzle in working out how far the cow disease has spread is establishing who has received calves from the Southland farm believed to have had it first in late 2015.


MPI's Geoff Gwyn said this had been made more difficult by a lack of co-operation from farmers.

"After 10 months we've not had one scenario, and many of these names are in the public domain, who have come to us and said 'oh by the way I got animals from a property down south'.

"We have even gone out down in Invercargill and put advertisements in the newspaper with the farmer's consent and people are not coming forward and saying I traded with them."

Mr Gwyn said MPI has had to trace every farmer itself or find them through some form of testing.

Not mentioned: the mass non-cooperation with NAIT, which would allow the sources of disease to be pinpointed and quarantined.

So why aren't farmers co-operating to fight this disease? Because if they say they're infected, then they can't sell their animals. So instead, they keep it secret and spread it to others, making the problem worse. Which is a serious crime. But the chances of farmers being held responsible for their actions is about zero.