Should taxpayers fund the M bovis clean up?

New Zealanders are split over whether the taxpayer should pay $592 million toward cleaning up cattle disease Mycoplasma bovis. 

The total cost of eradication will be $870 million over 10 years - $278 million will be paid by DairyNZ and Beef + Lamb New Zealand. 

A Newshub-Reid Research poll has found New Zealanders are split almost 50/50 over whether it's right for the taxpayer to stump up the cost of eradicating the disease.

Forty-four percent say it's fair, 44.5 percent say it's not fair and 12 percent don't know.

In Ashburton, some farmers are worried that eradicating Mycoplasma bovis will disproportionately hurt their herds through culling.

Farmer Chris Ford says he was very disappointed in the Government's decision.

"[There are] 450,000 cows in Ashburton, mid-Canterbury. A quarter of them are being wiped out in the next 10 years," he told Newshub.

The total cost of eradication will be $870 million over 10 years
The total cost of eradication will be $870 million over 10 years Photo credit: Newshub

There's no guarantee a biosecurity disaster like Mycoplasma bovis won't happen again - hitting taxpayers with another massive bill. The Government's planning to overhaul the Biosecurity Act to manage any future outbreaks better.

For now the Government's focus is now on eradication.

And on that, everyone - farmers or otherwise - would agree.   

Newshub. 

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