Often we think about the cost of biosecurity incursions in terms of the millions of dollars spent eradicating or mitigating or of the number of animals/produce culled or destroyed. As a result its easy to neglect the human cost and in doing so justify our own inaction.  We commend MPI for reminding us that Biosecurity isn’t just about the numbers its also very much about people and their communities.  The following story is reprinted with permission of MPI.  The full stakeholder update can be downloaded at Mycoplasma_bovis_Stakeholder_Update_134.pdf

M. bovis has already affected thousands of people across New Zealand. This week, we introduce you to Mischa Clouston, a registered nurse and farmer’s wife, of Burkes Pass in North Canterbury. She wrote a Facebook post to reach out to her farming friends and let them know they weren’t alone. Her message struck a chord and her message was widely shared and discussed, by people in the country as well as in
urban areas. She was happy for us to share part of her Facebook message:

“To my agri friends. I’m thinking of us all. This M. bovis is big. It will reach far and affect many of

I’m scared for my cattle owner friends – it must be a heavy weight to carry knowing you could
lose so much. I’m scared for my fellow manager and milkers – if there’s no cows, do we even
have a job? I’m worried for the health sector helping support the strain and worry, the
agribusiness owners whose business relies on cattle farming, the kids whose little souls deal
with mum’s and dad’s stress, and the teachers who support the kids while in their care at

M. bovis is not just about cattle being put to rest. This runs deep across our country, rural and urban. Let’s look out for each other equally as one person’s strain is no bigger than anyone else’s. We need to create a well and resilient human community to be able to deal with this. Be aware. Ask how people are. Listen. Be listened to. Talk often. Hug if you must. Find a way to feel valued andsupported while this is going on. We can’t change it now but I hope that decisions reach a common goal with as least impact as possible. New Zealand is smaller than we realise, so anyone of you from town or country will know someone affected. It’s actually up to us all.”