On the Wallaby | David Everist | Opinion

CULLING: In New Zealand, an attempt is being made to eradicate bovis where in Australia it is currently managed.

CULLING: In New Zealand, an attempt is being made to eradicate bovis where in Australia it is currently managed.

The culling of an estimated 150,000 dairy cows in New Zealand that carry or could carry the bacteria mycoplasma bovis (M bovis) could be as futile as Australia attempts to eradicate ovine and bovine and Johne’s disease.

The culling of an estimated 150,000 dairy cows in New Zealand that carry or could carry the bacteria mycoplasma bovis could be as futile as Australia attempts to eradicate ovine and bovine and Johnes disease.

David Everist

It is like a tale of two cities.

The Kiwis live with Johne’s disease and in Australia, attempts were made at eradication.

In New Zealand, an attempt is being made to eradicate bovis where in Australia it is currently managed.

Estimates are that one per cent of the Australian dairy herd is infected with bovis.

The bacterium does not affect milk or meat quality but does manifest as mastitis, pneumonia, and abortion.

The cull equates to 75 herds of 200 cows.

Recently, a herd of 1200 cows slaughtered under the New Zealand scheme only 300 tested positive. Subclinical cases are difficult to detect. 

The elephant in the room is that will the cull stop at 150,000?

That is currently estimated to cut dairy production by up to three per cent.

This is production and not the devastating effect it will have on those who lose a lifetime of productive cattle breeding. Hopefully, the Kiwis reach the finish line as Johne’s eradication in Australia was a disaster. 

Safety lottery

Driving on country roads after dark is much like a lottery where the prize can be a kangaroo on your bumper bar or windscreen. 

Kangaroos are endangered screech the environmentalists.

However, anecdotal evidence shows this is far from the truth. 

You have to feel sorry for a bloke who recently hit a samba deer on the road and then in the space of 100 metres hit and killed a wombat and then a kangaroo. 

The deer had to be put down due to horrific injuries. 

It must be asked, was it the wire barrier on one side of the road that trapped the three animals?