Mycoplasma bovis – how can faith help farmers?

micoplasma bovis

Until recently, New Zealand was one of two countries in the world that did not have cattle infected by the Mycoplasma Bovis disease.

Fr Tom Lawn is the assistant priest in the Catholic parish of New Plymouth, the main city in the Province of Taranaki – an area in which dairy farming has been long established.

When approached by the Wellington Archdiocese’s newspaper WelCom about the impact of the Mycoplasma Bovis, he asked three people in the farming community to provide a reflection.

Mental anguish will hurt the most

Paul Bourke is a farmer in Opunake.

He has done a lot to help set up support groups for farmers dealing with mental illness.

Bourke says support for those operating infected farms is critical.

It is the mental anguish that would hurt the most he said.

“For many, it seems a lifetime’s work sent to the slaughter, which must be debilitating and really stressful.”

Focus on what you can control; accept the things you can’t

Peter Moffit and his wife own two Taranaki dairy farms in an equity partnership.

“At its most basic level, we believe farming to be the use of God-given natural resources to make food that feeds God’s people” said Peter.

“At our core as Catholics are our faith and trust in God.

“We can only really focus on what we can control and understand and accept the things we can’t.”

Empathy and Understanding

Sharemilkers Ruth and Michael Prankerd farm in Southland. They think that it is important to combat fragmentation in the community.

“We must support one another, show empathy and seek to understand others’ points-of-view, and treat others as we would want to be treated.”

Read all three reflections and Fr Tom’s introduction in Welcom


Additional reading

News category: New Zealand.

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