Marty... good post.
I've been wanting to clear my head about this thing, because it's certainly Big and Ugly.
My take ends up mostly with another viewpoint:
There is no commercially available vaccine for M Bovis.
While I share your distaste for the TV coverage of the doe-eyed bobby calf being fondled by its heartbroken owner, this is far from what dairy farming is all about.
A million moos are “culled” annually as normal replacement. 150k being “slaughtered” is an economic problem, not a moral one. Farmers have been seen to kick bobby calves to death as it’s quicker than cutting their throats.
Farming is a business, and many farmers will do whatever they can get away with, to make a little more profit. Too many… the stupid, the short-sighted, and the greedy are as well represented as anywhere else.
I’ve run stock in my time. The farmer goss is that a southland farmer (who is known) thought vet fees were exorbitant (The Stupid part), and decided to import his own serum from China (The Short-sighted part). Quite why you are able to bypass Biosecurity in this way is something MPI will have to soul search about. So the first herd was infected.
Now it’s well-known that some farmers omit to register the odd calf, and flog them off for cash to duck tax (The greedy part). So the NAIT tracking system fails, and the disease is impossible to trace properly.
So kill the herds. We have only this one shot at fixing this, a world first if we do.
Farmers take note: do not do stupid, short-sighted and greedy things. Manage your farm sustainably. There is a Green backlash in all this, and you have unleashed an avalanche on yourselves. As ever, pity the innocent, but maybe this will prevent a future blind eye when all know something is amiss in the farming community.