Holy Cow enjoys tremendous support after shutdown


The support shown shows what we have seen many times before: that there is great love for raw milk producers in their communities.


Save Holy Cow dairy

Published: 8 June 2016

A raw milk producer near Dunedin on New Zealand's South Island was recently shut down after one non-milking cow called Nina tested positive for tuberculosis. Merrall MacNeille says that the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) is trying to force him out of business. He has already put down the cow responsible for the positive TB test but MPI regulations say if one tests positive, operations must stop and the ban for raw milk production will be for 6 years. The requirement is that all cows test negative for 12 months, THEN the 5 years kick in.  The TVNZ video can be watched here.

Note: Bovine tuberculosis was eradicated in Australia in 1997.  Farmer Merrall puts down Nina's positive TB test to an encounter with an infected possum.  

An old sign on the farm

An old sign on the farm

At first, Merrall MacNeille said that he saw no choice but to slaughter the entire herd of mostly Jersey's because he could not afford to feed them while having no income.  Later he said he would keep them, if he can feed them.  He has 26 cows and have been selling raw milk from the farm for more than a decade (since 2003).

Now community support group 'Friends of Holy Cow' have set up a crowdfunding campaign to keep the herd going while Merrell and his family work through their options and also for ongoing support for the family and farm.  It currently costs about $115 per day to feed the herd.  Merrall and his wife Alex have been inundated with support from customers, friends and the public since they've been ordered to stop selling.  If you are keen to help, the group invites discussion on their Facebook Group Friends of Holy Cow or email friendsofholycow@gmail.com.

Customers are very upset, some say: "so now we'll have to go back to yucky supermarket milk."  Watch Newshub's beautiful story here.  "At the Holy Cow farm they are praying that Nina's tissue sample comes back clear, but it's a long shot and a result is weeks away."

The local community have been very generous, with over $12,000 donated (in just 5 days) through New Zealand 'Give a little' funding platform. More proposed fund raising is also in the pipeline.  Even grazing had been offered as far as Palmerston North. The support shown shows what we have seen many times before: that there is great love for raw milk producers in their communities.  Raw milk has real value.

Video:  Otago Daily Times article

Audio:  the audio is streamed directly from RNZ, 7 June 2016 (source).

Video:  Produced by Benedict Armitage and uploaded on 19 Sep 2016.

   Happier times, just a few weeks ago. Photo by Chris Reid.

   Merrall and Alex MacNeille of The Holy Cow farm. Photo by Tess Trotter.

BREAKING NEWS:  New Zealand TB Fraud? 

2 September 2016

"Everyone's known that the TB tests weren't entirely accurate."
"Of all cattle that test positive following a skin reactor test - And all the cattle that test positive following a blood test - 3 out of 4 cases turn out to be false."  Richard Prosser

Video:  The Graf Boys. Over 80 million dollars, including farmers and taxpayers hard earned cash, is spent eradicating a disease, that by World standards, has already been beaten ...

Posted on June 8, 2016 and filed under Raw Milk production, Raw Milk.