New Zealand has virtually eradicated Mycoplasma bo-vis – saving its economy $1.3 billion (£721 million) in losses – just three years after it was first discovered in the country.
At its peak, some 250 farms were affected by the disease, but that has now been reduced to just four.
NZ Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor said the hard and early approach taken had paid off.
“There is still work to be done, and there will be more infected farms to find, but we’re well and truly on track to do what no other country in the world has done and eradicate this disease,” he said.
He praised farmers for their work helping eradicate the disease but warned that its effects were likely to linger for years to come.
“The eradication effort has not been without substantial challenges, and the impact on affected farmers can’t be under-estimated,” he said.
Some of the farms infected with the disease were forced to cull thousands of animals.
The New Zealand government not only paid them compensation, but is changing its tax laws so that the money they received doesn’t result in farmers being hit by a huge bill.
Meanwhile, New Zealand and Vietnam have signed an agreement to use electronic certification in the clearance of agricultural products.
Under the agreement, signed in Hanoi last week, the ministries in both jurisdictions will facilitate the clearance of agro-forestry and fishery products through the use of electronic certification (e-Cert), which is an online method of exchanging consensus information among government agencies.
Vietnam’s deputy agriculture min-
ister Le Quoc Doanh said: “As the global trade supply chain was increasingly complicated under the influence of the Covid-19 pandemic as well as growing technology, it is important to establish a fast, secure and reliable information exchange system through online solutions.”
He added more countries were replacing their paper system with the online solutions as the direct exchange of electronic certification data simplifies import-export pro-cesses for agro-forestry, fishery and food products, as well as speeding up customs clearance, reduces costs, increases reliability and transparency.
New Zealand ambassador to Vietnam, Wendy Matthews, said the agreement would help trade between the two countries become faster, safer and cheaper.
“New Zealand has always been the leading country in the world in the field of electronic certification,” she said.