New Zealand has ordered a mass cull of cattle in a bid to eradicate disease-causing bacteria from the national herd.
The disease causes udder infections, pneumonia and arthritis, but does not affect milk and meat for human consumption.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said she did not want to end up in a situation where she looked back and said "I could have tried harder".
The alternative plan, long term management of the disease, was estimated to cost $1.2 billion.
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Mycoplasma bovis was first detected in New Zealand in July past year, and manifests in mastitis in cows, severe pneumonia, ear infections and other symptoms.
However, Ms Ardern said New Zealand - which relies heavily on livestock farming for its export earnings - would aim to eradicate the disease completely.
However, many healthy cattle will also be killed in the cull.
Federated Farmers, an advocacy organisation, said there were some farmers who opposed the cull but authorities needed to try to address the bacteria before it was too late. They say numerous cows will be slaughtered at processing plants and used for beef, but some cows will have to be killed and buried on the farms or dumped in approved landfills.
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Since it was first discovered, 26,000 cows have been culled, and the disease is classified as "active" on 37 properties. They support farmers with information and advice on the practical aspects of the controls.
The eradication of Mycoplasma bovis will not be an easy one, but is possible because it's not widespread and there's only one strain of the disease out there. The nation would be spending near about NZ$800m (five hundred sixty million dollars) over about ten years in order to protect the dairy herd of New Zealand and secure the future dairy production of the nation's farming industry, which yields the nation the second largest profit. About two-thirds are dairy cows and the rest beef cattle.
"We don't know, in the long-term, what impact it could collectively have on an industry that is incredibly important to New Zealand's economy", she said.
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