Re­cov­ery pack­age for M. Bo­vis farms Get­ting back to busi­ness for cleared farm­ers

Bush Telegraph - - FOCUS ON FARMING - By KELLY SPRING Min­istry of Agri­cul­ture

Prime Min­is­ter Jacinda Ardern and Biose­cu­rity Min­is­ter Damien O’Connor set out a re­cov­ery pack­age last week to help farm­ers get back to busi­ness more quickly af­ter be­ing cleared of My­coplasma bo­vis.

“I know it’s been an ex­tremely tough time for many farm­ers,” Jacinda Ardern said.

“Los­ing herds, pets and years of stock ge­net­ics built up over decades is an in­cred­i­ble hit to take for New Zealand’s one shot to pro­tect our na­tional herd and eco­nomic base.

“For those fam­i­lies whose farms have been cleared of My­coplasma bo­vis, re­stock­ing marks an im­por­tant turn­ing point — it al­lows them to be­gin mov­ing for­ward again.

“The Govern­ment re­mains com­mit­ted to phased erad­i­ca­tion, which is pro­gress­ing well, and to help­ing farm­ers get back to busi­ness,” Jacinda Ardern said.

The re­cov­ery pack­age, rolled out by the Min­istry for Pri­mary In­dus­tries and re­sponse part­ners DairyNZ and Beef+Lam­bNZ, in­cludes:

DairyNZ and Beef+Lam­bNZ Com­pen­sa­tion As­sis­tance Team — DairyNZ and Beef + Lam­bNZ have put to­gether a team of ru­ral pro­fes­sion­als who un­der­stand both farm­ing and the com­pen­sa­tion process who can sit down and work with farm­ers

on their claims. The $400,000 cost is funded through the re­sponse.

Im­proved com­pen­sa­tion form and guide — re­leased last week, the sim­pli­fied form will be eas­ier to fol­low and the sup­port­ing guide will make clear what doc­u­ments need to be sub­mit­ted to en­sure prompt pay­ment of com­pen­sa­tion claims.

On­line milk pro­duc­tion losses cal­cu­la­tion tool — an on­line tool for farm­ers to eas­ily es­ti­mate their milk pro­duc­tion losses to speed up com­pen­sa­tion claims — will shortly be re­leased.

Ru­ral Sup­port Trust boost — MPI has now com­pleted train­ing 80 Ru­ral Sup­port Trust mem­bers to pro­vide cru­cial wel­fare sup­port.

Re­gional Re­cov­ery Man­agers, in ad­di­tion to the Acute Re­cov­ery Team — The Re­gional Cen­tres in In­ver­cargill, Oa­maru, Ash­bur­ton and Hamil­ton will each have a re­gional re­cov­ery man­ager. They are be­ing nom­i­nated and sec­onded by DairyNZ and Beef+Lam­bNZ and will help farm­ers de­velop a tai­lor-made re­cov­ery plan.

Ms Ardern and Mr O’Connor made the an­nounce­ment on Bryce and Julie Steven­son’s beef farm in Wairarapa as the cou­ple re­stock af­ter erad­i­cat­ing My­coplasma bo­vis.

Mr O’Connor says the re­sponse is mak­ing good progress in its world-first erad­i­ca­tion at­tempt.

“To­day places a spot­light on the re­silience of our pri­mary sec­tors and those who work in them, with the fo­cus on sup­port for farm­ers who are help­ing to re­build the na­tional herd to full strength,” Damien O’Connor said. “It’s im­por­tant to re­mem­ber that con­fir­ma­tion of newly iden­ti­fied prop­er­ties does not mean the disease is spread­ing. It means we are trac­ing his­tor­i­cally in­fected cat­tle and milk move­ments, many of which oc­curred be­fore the disease had been dis­cov­ered.

“Work­ing closely with our farm­ing in­dus­try part­ners, the Govern­ment re­mains con­fi­dent erad­i­ca­tion is on-track and we have a good chance of suc­cess. I thank all farm­ers who have helped get us to this point,” Mr O’Connor said.

Of New Zealand’s 24,000 farms, 74 have been in­fected with 36 sub­se­quently de­stocked and cleared of My­coplasma bo­vis.

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