New Zealand officials have announced plans to kill around 150,000 cows in an attempt to eradicate a strain of disease-causing bacteria.
The plan is set to cost $886 million, and will take place over the next ten years.
Around 24,000 cows have already been killed in recent months.
The bacteria, Mycoplasma bovis, can cause cows to develop ailments such as mastitis, pneumonia, and arthritis. It is not believed to be a threat to food safety.
Officials will kill all cows on any farm where the bacteria is found, even if the cows are healthy. Many cows will be be used for beef, however many will end up dumped into landfills.
Katie Milne, the national president of the advocacy group ‘Federated Farmers’, emphasised the support that will be needed for farmers, however, failed to mention the 150,000 cows that will be slaughtered.
“This is a tough time, and the pain and anguish they’re going to go through is really hideous,”
“And we have to support them as neighbors, community members, farmers, friends.”
The main aim of this culling project is to protect the New Zealand economy, with milk being the countries single largest export.
New Zealand is currently home to around 10 million cows, two-thirds of which are dairy cows.