New Zealand plans to slaughter about 150,000 cows as it tries to eradicate a strain of disease-causing bacteria from the national herd.
Politicians and industry leaders announced the ambitious plan Monday. They say it will cost hundreds of millions of dollars, and, if successful, would be the first time an infected country has eliminated Mycoplasma bovis.
Farming is vital to the economy in New Zealand, whose isolation has helped protect it from some diseases which affect herds elsewhere.
Last July, Mycoplasma bovis was found in the country for the first time. Found in Europe and the U.S., the bacteria can cause cows to develop mastitis, pneumonia, arthritis and other diseases. The disease is not considered a threat to food safety, but does cause production losses on farms.