Vet company says it was named in M. bovis outbreak as part of a ‘commercial vendetta’

Steve Taylor says his unashamed cut-price model for veterinary drugs has opened him up to attacks.

The owner of a vet business under scrutiny by officials investigating the mycoplasma bovis outbreak says he and his customers are the victim of “a commercial vendetta.”

Steve Taylor is a part-owner of Waiheke Island-based Vet Direct Ltd, which imports and supplies cut-price drugs to farmers.

The company undercuts traditional veterinary practices, and Taylor claimed that was why his “unashamedly cut-price” model been targeted by rumour and “spurious information”.

“We never were under investigation … we are clear,” he told Stuff. “I need to defend myself.”






Mycoplasma bovis cow disease to cost farmers $278m

DairyNZ chairman Jim van der Poel says the industry cost of eradication will come out of a special levy.

Most farmers are reconciled with shelling out $278m as part of their cost to banish the Mycoplasma bovis cow disease from New Zealand shores.

Dairy farmers will fork out the greater proportion – perhaps more than 80 per cent – of the cost with sheep and beef farmers paying the rest. Most of the bill will land in the first few years in exchange for Cabinet signing off on Monday a joint eradication decision between the Government and industry groups.

The Government has decided to cull about 126,000 cattle on top of the 26,000 already being destroyed in an attempt to knock off the disease.








Q&A on Mycoplasma bovis: Untangling truth from fiction of cattle disease

Mycoplasma bovis is the most severe economic biosecurity issue to hit New Zealand, predicted to cost $1 billion over 10 years.

Speculation has been rife over Mycoplasma bovis as the disease has increasingly taken hold on farms.

Q: Is it the worst biosecurity incursion in New Zealand history?

A: Setting aside the disastrous ecological impact suffered by native species since human arrival, Mycoplasma is the worst economic pest or disease to land in New Zealand. The cost of eradication has been estimated at $886 million over 10 years.

The Psa bacteria which hit the kiwifruit industry in 2010 is the next most serious incursion. For that the Government and industry handed out an aid package of $50 million, and a group of 212 growers and post-harvest operators are claiming losses of $376.4m in a case awaiting a decision in the High Court.






Cull of 126,000 livestock as Cabinet moves ahead with plans to eradicate M bovis

The government and farming industry will attempt to eradicate mycoplasma bovis and the Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI) has promised to speed up the compensation process.

The Government says it has one last shot at eradicating the country of Mycoplasma Bovis and it’s going to try.

Cabinet made a decision on Monday to push ahead with ridding New Zealand of the disease, which is on a scale never faced before.

Phased eradication could involve up to 190 properties out of more than 20,000 dairy and beef farms. It’s expected an additional 126,000 livestock will need to be culled on top of the 26,000 already earmarked for slaughter.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor said the decision to not switch to a management and containment plan was made collectively with farming sector bodies after months of intense analysis to understand the likely impact of M bovis.


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