Strategic Science Advisory Group
Science is critical to New Zealand’s response to the Mycoplasma bovis disease, and accelerating its eradication from New Zealand.
Role of the group
On 28 May 2018, the Government announced it was investing up to $30 million over 2 years into science to support the eradication of the cattle disease M. bovis from New Zealand.
The Mycoplasma bovis Strategic Science Advisory Group (SSAG) was established soon after to help identify science priorities and develop a science plan to guide research funding decisions. Members of the SSAG include domestic and international expert scientists, vets and government representatives.
Science plan will help speed up eradication
Released in October 2018, the M. bovis science plan’s objective is to identify the highest-priority science needed to eradicate the disease from New Zealand.
It builds on existing knowledge about the M. bovis bacteria and disease, and knowledge from the dairy and beef sectors and the response teams.
The science plan was developed with input from local and international experts from science, veterinary, and educational organisations, industry, and government agencies.
SSAG science plan [PDF, 1.2 MB]
The science plan identifies research priorities within nine key science areas:
- social and economic impact
- behaviour, drivers and incentives
- effective communication
- data acquisition and architecture
- entry pathways
- understanding the pathogen
- direct impact of the disease.
Procurement approaches for each science area will depend on a range of factors, including the nature of the research, and the capability and/or facilities required.
Members include local and international expert scientists, vets, and government representatives.
Departmental science adviser – MPI.
Distinguished professor and executive director – Infectious Disease Research Centre, Massey University.
Senior scientist – AgResearch.
Director – North Canterbury Vets.
Professor of Agribusiness – Massey University.
Resource economist and senior social scientist – AgResearch.
Director – Te Pūnaha Matatini, University of Auckland.
General manager – Science System Investment and Performance, Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.
Mary van Andel
Principal adviser – MPI.
Professor and director Asia-Pacific Centre for Animal Health – Faculty of Veterinary and Agricultural Sciences, University of Melbourne.
Senior research scientist – Australian Animal Health Laboratory, CSIRO.
Independent agribusiness consultant and scientist – Kaiārahi Ahuwhenua, Federation of Māori Authorities.
Private consultant with extensive M. bovis research experience, UK.