The government is deciding whether to keep culling cows in an attempt to eradicate Mycoplasma bovis or to attempt to contain it.
No other country has managed to eradicate the disease but the ability to do that here is a little easier because every infection has been traced back to a single source.
However, continuing to attempt eradication will be a very expensive exercise.
Containing it will incur less direct expense for the government, but each time the disease spreads it reduces production which reduces farmer income and therefore the tax take.
Whether or not the government opts for continued culling or containment, farmers whose operations aren’t self-contained will be needing to move stock to grazing when they dry off next week.
Whichever decision the government makes, farmers, sharemilkers and their staff on farms which have, or might have the disease, are under huge stress, financially and emotionally.
Whatever the decision, there are still a lot of lessons to be learned from how the incursion has been, and is being handled so that the same mistakes aren’t made next time because sooner or later there will be one.