'Massive achievement': New Zealand set to eradicate M bovis

Industry groups are welcoming the Government's announcement that New Zealand may be able to become the first country in the world to eradicate the cattle disease Mycoplasma bovis.

The Prime Minister has given an update on the fight against the disease, saying there 32 active infected properties and 51 have been cleared of the disease.

At least 180 farmers have been paid out, with almost $37 million in compensation.

Federated Farmers said while there are farmers throughout the country still battling the aftermath of the disease's discovery, it believes farmers will start to feel more confident about the outcome of the eradication.

"We are cautiously optimistic, and still have fingers and everything else crossed," said Federated Farmers dairy chair Chris Lewis.

He said it would be a massive achievement to beat the disease.

"It has caused enormous pain and suffering to the more than 1000 farmers and sharemilkers who have had to get through having the disease either found on their farm, or linked to it - and this work is still going on."

Meanwhile DairyNZ said the Technical Advisory Group's report on the Mycoplasma bovis eradication programme provides encouraging progress.

"DairyNZ has been on this journey since the moment we knew this disease had arrived in New Zealand, and today will come as a relief to many farmers," said DairyNZ Chair Jim van der Poel.

"The collaborative approach with the Government, Beef and Lamb NZ and other partners and organisations has worked extremely well - and together we are making a difference to all our farmers."

"It hasn't been easy for the 1000 farmers affected, whether they were under active surveillance or restriction, or the disease was found on their farm," said Mr van der Poel.

He said it has been a team effort to fight the disease.

"Thank you to everyone involved in the response to Mycoplasma bovis.

"This has truly been a team effort, not just of those within MPI, DairyNZ or B+LNZ, but also every dairy and beef farmer across New Zealand."