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M. bovis Levy Added to Long List of Costs for Dairy Farmers

23 July 2019

NEW ZEALAND - A levy on milk solids to pay for the Mycoplasma bovis response is another cost in a long list that farmers are having to endure, an industry leader says.

This week, dairy farmers nationwide will receive information from DairyNZ about the Mycoplasma Bovis Biosecurity Response Levy being set at 2.9 cents per kilogram of milksolids for the 2019-20 year. The levy will be collected by dairy supply companies from 1 September.

For the 2019-20 year, at 2.9c/kg milksolids, dairy farmers will pay on average $4300 each from 1 September 2019 to 31 May 2020 based on a 430-cow farm.

Southland Federated Farmers vice-president Bernadette Hunt said although the amount might not seem a lot, the number of levies and taxes being added to farmers' budgets was starting to take a toll.

"On its own it won't have a massive effect but there are so many levies and tax increases now that they are having a cumulative effect. You have changes to health and safety, changes to employment legislation, biosecurity levies, some of the implementations around water quality that may be paid for with levies - all of those things are impacting on farmers for sure.

"While we all acknowledge the M.bovis response is something everyone has to pay for and that the farming sector should have to make an extra contribution, they should also have an assurance that that extra money is being used well and effectively to manage the response and it's not being wasted."

The Government and farming sector bodies announced in May 2018 that they would attempt to eradicate the disease.

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Source: Stuff.co.nz

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