New Zealand’s Mycoplasma bovis (M. bovis) eradication programme is moving into a new phase, with Operational Solutions for Primary Industries (OSPRI) to take day-to-day control of its operation from 1 November, the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) announced today.
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, Ministries for Primary Industries (MPI), Beef + Lamb New Zealand, and DairyNZ, will continue to provide governance and monitor progress,” he said.
The Ministry 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,” said Mr Smith.
He said recently completed consultation on an NPMP had been productive.
“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.”
He said farmers should not be affected by the move and 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,” said Mr Smith.