Bovine TB Strategy success leads to less herd testing

Posted by on 2 March 2012 | Comments

A total of 2450 cattle and deer herds across the central North Island have had their bovine tuberculosis (TB) movement control restrictions or testing requirements reduced.

Animal Health Board (AHB) Technical and Farm Services Manager Dr Stu Hutchings said the reduction is due to falling herd infection rates and a strong focus on TB-infected wildlife control.

The AHB’s revised TB control strategy aims to eradicate TB from wild animal populations, which will lead to even less herd testing in the future. Infected wild animals, particularly possums, continue to be the main carrier of TB and source of the disease in farmed cattle and deer. 

The changes to the movement control restrictions will affect herdowners in the northern tip of the Central North Island Movement Control Area (MCA) from 1 March 2012. 

“The change to the MCA boundary will remove the need for pre-movement herd testing of 199 cattle and deer herds,” said Dr Hutchings. 

Of the 2450 affected herds, more than 2250 will benefit from less TB testing due to changes in Special Testing Area policies in the North Island. 

“The AHB is proud to once again deliver some direct benefits to registered cattle and deer herds,” said Dr Hutchings. 

“This has been achieved through focused possum control and other wildlife surveillance to assess whether TB is still present in an area. However, it would not have been possible without the help and co-operation of farmers.” 

Central North Island deer farmer Leith Chick, who has had his herd movement restrictions revoked, said this is a major step forward for TB control in the area. 

“Farmers’ continued support and compliance with the TB control strategy has contributed greatly to the reduction in the Central North Island MCA and changes to testing requirements,” said Mr Chick. 

Affected herdowners will be notified of when their next test is due, or can visit www.tbfree.org.nz/dcamapto check if they have been affected by the changes.

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For further information, please contact: 
Mike Hansen 
Communications Advisor 
Animal Health Board 
027 460 0754