The Mycoplasma bovis (M. bovis) eradication programme moves into its next phase with Operational Solutions for Primary Industries (OSPRI) taking day-to-day control of its operation from 1 November 2023.
M. bovis governance group independent chair Kelvan Smith says OSPRI will oversee operational and disease control functions under a contract for service.
"OSPRI’s role will include the testing of farms, managing the current active confirmed property, any newly detected farms, cleaning and disinfection, and farmer support. The Programme partners, Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI), Beef + Lamb New Zealand, and DairyNZ, will continue to provide governance and monitor progress.
"MPI will retain non-operational aspects of the programme, including compensation, and any necessary compliance action.
"We expect farmers to notice very little difference from current operations and the existing Government Industry Agreement between MPI, DairyNZ and Beef + Lamb New Zealand remains in place until a National Pest Management Plan (NPMP) is approved and established."
Mr Smith says the consultation on an NPMP recently closed with some good submissions from farmers.
"We have received submissions that are largely supportive of the proposal and the next step is to analyse and consider the feedback and update the draft proposal as appropriate. It is expected the final proposal will be submitted to the Government in early 2024. We are planning for the NPMP to be in place by mid next year, subject to approval."
Mr Smith says the programme continues to perform well.
"The number of infected properties has fallen to very low levels and the major activity of the programme will be national surveillance of New Zealand’s cattle herd," Kelvan Smith says. "This makes now the right time to look where we can start capitalising on the identified efficiencies and ensure all the partners – DairyNZ, Beef + Lamb New Zealand and the Government – are receiving value for their investment."
Mr Smith says farmers should not be affected by the move and the M. bovis levies would not increase.
"OSPRI will provide extensive experience in disease management and surveillance, an established regional management model for disease management, streamlined engagement and operational efficiencies with existing OSPRI programmes, National Animal Identification and Tracing (NAIT), and TBfree."
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