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Drug Houses & Mycoplasma bovis are classic Examples of New Zealand Over reaction/Under reaction

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Moral issues overwhelm in remote Commonwealth nation

The overreaction in cleansing accommodation perceived as permanently contaminated by synthetic drug users compares with the equally noticeable under-reaction to the threat to the national economy of the arrival of the animal pathogen Mycoplasma bovis.

In the event the five-year remediation scheme for the P houses, as they are known, was officially deemed to be unnecessary.

In contrast the systemic threat to the nation’s pastoral economy which was officially understood at least a year ago was substantially left in official abeyance until just weeks ago.

Movement controls which should have been put in place immediately were not.

The cleansing of the P houses in contrast was a five year long high profile event in which individual house under remediation became the focus of national horror.

The similarity of both these examples is that they rested on scientific analysis.

The cleansing of the synthetic drug houses though carried the moral judgement that allowed this purging to be comprehended by the media and thus politicians and was thus easily conveyed to the public at large. i.e. drugs are bad, especially of the home-made variety.

In the event an official government report, a scientific one, declared that such houses are only contaminated to the same degree as ones in which legal drugs, tobacco, have been used.

With no moral judgment propelling it into the public forum, the Mycoplasma bovis menace in contrast wallowed unheeded in an incomprehensible sludge about animal pathology.

For example there was allowed to float unchecked the incorrect notion that Mycoplasma bovis was zoonotic and could like animal tuberculosis make the leap from cattle to humans.

.Without its easily absorbed social-moral wings, there was no political capital benefit in dwelling on the threat of the pathogen.

Which is why when the news of the by now dangerously disseminated pathogen did finally arrive in the public forum the information about it centred on angles such as understandably aggrieved former share milkers having to live in a caravan in Australia.

There remains now the matter of ease with which the now officially unnecessary drug house purgings became such a public focus and the way in which in contrast the Mycoplasma bovis threat was allowed to incubate unseen and unheard and for so long.

The explanation is one which few wish to dwell upon.

One was a moral issue centred on the known evil of drugs

The other was an obscure veterinary issue.

There are now questions to be asked.

They will not be asked because of the engrained nature of the pre-eminence of the moral issue.

But they are.

In the instance of the drug house cleansings did any chemist in any official capacity seek much earlier in the piece to point out the now understood futility of what was going on?

In the instance of the Mycoplasma bovis outbreak did anyone in an official person, a veterinary practitioner, seek to alert a year ago the danger posed to the nation by the pathogen?

If the answer in these instances is yes, then we need to know who or what they alerted and what happened, or did not happen, subsequently?