© New Zealand Broadcasting School 2019

M.bovis - the disease breaking farmers

Courtney Winter

One Ealing dairy farmer says he was given no support for his mental well being after his farm tested positive with Mycoplasma Bovis.

Dairy Farmer, Duncan Barr talks about his experience with M.bovis

Dairy farmer Duncan Barr and many others are disappointed in the way Ministry for Primary Industries have acted during this stressful time with Mycoplasma Bovis for farmers.

He feels like they have been left in the dark about a lot of the information and would like to see more resources put out to farmers, Barr says.

"Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) needs to start giving farmers the information they need and follow up on what they say they are going to do, stop lying to us" 

Farmers are out there struggling with the whole process, feeling like they have a lack of support and information. If nothing changed soon there will be long term implications and MPI will have blood on their hands, Barr says.

COW USE
Mycoplasma bovis is generally spread between cows in close contact Jenny Hill

MPI response is they know it is time consuming, frustrating and stressful for farmers with many people are feeling an understandable strain, spokesperson from the Mycoplasma bovis programme, Ministry for Primary Industries says.

"We are working hard to minimise disruption to farming businesses as much as possible, as we know that getting out of their way and helping them get back to farming is the best thing we can do for their welfare". 

MPI farmer and public meetings being held over the next month are an important way for them to hear straight from the farmers about their experiences, what is working and what areas can be improved.

The experiences of farmers who have been through the eradication process is especially valuable to help us continually improve our actions and processes as we go, spokesperson from the Mycoplasma bovis programme says.