More than 100 farmers and industry representatives turned out in Nelson today to a Ministry for Primary Industries national roadshow, and it was clear emotions were running high.
Three properties in Nelson, Tasman and Marlborough have been issued with a notice of direction by MPI, meaning either stock from an infected property has been moved there or there is believed to be some risk in moving stock off the property.
The farms will be tested and monitored closely, and stock movements will be only possible with a special permit.
Takaka farmer Steve Woods said even though there were no confirmed cases in the area, everyone was worried.
“It will get here. New Zealand’s a small place and stock gets moved around,” he said.
Dairy NZ data shows just under 500 dairy farm owners and operators in Nelson, Tasman, Marlborough and the West Coast add more than $300 million to the regional economy annually through milk production.
Rural Support Trust’s Nelson regional coordinator Barbara Stuart said they had a chance to keep the disease at bay but it would take some effort.