Federated Farmers is pleased the government is committed to finding out what more can be learnt from the country’s handling of the biosecurity response to Mycoplasma bovis.
The Ministry for Primary Industries announced today it will conduct an independent review into the M. bovis response. The disease was first detected in New Zealand in 2017 and is likely to have entered the country two years before that.
Federated Farmers called for an independent review at its National Council meeting in June 2018.
“We’ve been waiting a long time for this, and even five years on, it is still well worth doing,” Federated Farmers president Andrew Hoggard says.
In 2018 the then national president Katie Milne wrote to the Minister for Biosecurity (Hon Damien O’Connor) requesting a review of New Zealand’s biosecurity system, including an independent review of the M. bovis response.
“At the time the Minister said it was still too early to do a review. And we accept that the challenge of tracking, managing and eventually controlling M.bovis has required a huge effort and a great deal of patience from all concerned,” Andrew says.
Federated Farmers has reiterated its call, publicly and privately, on a number of occasions.
“We’ve all learnt a lot from this biosecurity response, not just MPI. This will not be a witch-hunt to highlight all the things that didn’t go well. Rather it’s an effort to capture what we have learned so we can all be better prepared.”
It is standard practice for MPI to review its biosecurity responses, but they are not normally independent reviews.
“An independent review will give the results considerable clout and should give us all a solid platform to learn from and build on for future responses,” Andrew says.
“The name of the game is to learn how to be better prepared, because this could always happen again.”
Federated Farmers is looking forward to its opportunity to feed into the review and it will encourage the review panel to talk to key Feds provincial people and affected farmers.