Mark Patterson, Primary Industries Spokesperson
New Zealand First has welcomed the Ministry for Primary Industries’ acceptance of recommendations to improve its systems and processes in the fight against Mycoplasma bovis following two reviews into a backlog of trace animal movements.
“We welcome Director-General of MPI Ray Smith’s apology to those farmers whom the system has failed. He has led from the front on this issue,” said New Zealand First Primary Industries Spokesperson Mark Patterson.
“We need to bear in mind that this is an unprecedented undertaking, being the only country in the world to have attempted to eradicate the disease. It is the largest biosecurity response in New Zealand’s history and the challenge of the task is hard to overstate.
“However, by their own admission, MPI let some farmers down. Combined with delays in receiving compensation, many have been left under a cloud of uncertainty. This is not good enough.”
The two reviews showed that failings in the lead up to ‘Moving Day’ and during winter movements exposed issues of staffing, training and management within the M. bovis eradication programme.
“So far, the Government has spent $234 million on eradication and compensation pay-outs. Eradication efforts, overall, are going well. New Zealand First will continue to advocate for all those affected while we fight to protect our rural livelihoods from the devastation of this disease,” Mr Patterson said.