TB may be­come big­ger prob­lem

Matamata Chronicle - - Rural Delivery - By STEW WADEY

This time of the year, coun­cils put out their pro­posed an­nual and long term plans for con­sul­ta­tion.

Re­cently mayor Jan Barnes went through the pro­posed LTP of MatamataPiako Dis­trict Coun­cil with my­self and fel­low Fed chairs of Mor­rinsville and Te Aroha.

No ma­jor con­cerns were iden­ti­fied by us. Our pol­icy team do scru­ti­nise the full doc­u­ment be­fore we write our sub­mis­sion, which we present at the coun­cil hear­ing.

Like­wise on a re­gional ba­sis, we had all the Waikato Re­gional coun­cil­lors sup­port their chair­woman, Paula South­gate, who pre­sented to the Waikato Fed­er­ated Farm­ers’ ex­ec­u­tive on their pro­posed LTP.

The ma­jor con­cern is the in­ten­tion to not col­lect the bio-se­cu­rity rate.

It is a tar­geted rate, so only ru­ral folk pay it, not ur­ban peo­ple.

From a busi­ness case point of view for ev­ery $1 of this rate col­lected by WRC, cen­tral gov­ern­ment puts in a fur­ther $9 for bio-se­cu­rity work, mainly TB vec­tor con­trol within the con­stituency.

We are get­ting out­breaks of TB in live­stock in the con­stituency, the most re­cent be­ing two herds in the South Waikato.

Pig of­fal af­fected by TB is an ini­tial find­ing on this se­ri­ous out­break, a sig­nif­i­cant num­ber of af­fected cows have al­ready had to be slaugh­tered.

It is my view that this rate col­lec­tion for TB con­trol pur­poses needs to be con­tin­ued, as live­stock farm­ing is the ma­jor in­dus­try in the con­stituency and ob­vi­ously ur­ban peo­ple have em­ploy­ment to ser­vice the farm­ing pro­duc­tion.

One of the al­leged rea­sons the re­gional coun­cil don’t want to col­lect this rate, is that there is some sort of power play be­tween Ospri/ TB Free New Zealand and Waikato Re­gional Coun­cil on how the job should be done. I have high­lighted in real time that TB for farm­ers is a very se­ri­ous is­sue.

TB is also known to be slow at man­i­fest­ing it­self. I be­lieve if a weak link is al­lowed to de­velop, who will be the owner of the next herd with a de­bil­i­tat­ing TB is­sue.

It is a no brainer, pay $1 and get $9 top up to pro­tect our pri­mary farm­ing in­dus­try.

I am sure WRC do le­git­i­mately ac­count for its cost of ad­min­is­ter­ing this tar­geted rate, so dis­count that as a rea­son.

Mata­mata Dis­trict Fed­er­ated Farm­ers’ an­nual meet­ing was last week.

We need a sharemilker del­e­gate to come for­ward and join our Mata­mata Fed ex­ec­u­tive.

Things are go­ing to get tight for many farm­ing fam­i­lies, es­pe­cially those in the dairy in­dus­try, over the next 18 months.

STEW WADEY

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