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Bovine TB control achieves less cattle and deer TB testing


Media release
1 March 2013

Bovine TB control achieves less cattle and deer TB testing

The success of the TBfree New Zealand programme has led to more than 3750 cattle and deer herds having their movement control restrictions, or number of bovine tuberculosis (TB) tests, scaled down.

Animal Health Board (AHB) National TB Manager Kevin Crews said the decrease is due to a strong focus on TB-infected wild animal control, strict movement rules on infected herds and an extensive cattle and deer testing programme.

The AHB is responsible for implementing the TBfree New Zealand programme which is working to eradicate bovine TB in New Zealand. Changes to movement restrictions will affect around 50 herds across Tasman, Marlborough and North Canterbury from 1 March 2013.

Around 3700 herds in the Hawke’s Bay, Manawatu, Wanganui and Canterbury regions will also have their testing frequencies reduced to either every one, two or three years. These changes cover an area of just under 1.3 million hectares, which is about half the size of Waikato.

“The AHB is proud to again deliver some direct benefits to registered cattle and deer herds across the country,” said Mr Crews.

“This is a reward for the dedication farmers have shown in supporting the TBfree New Zealand programme. We greatly appreciate their help and co-operation, without which this reduction would not have been possible.”

Golden Bay herdowner, John Harwood, has had his movement control restrictions removed and is pleased to get on with the job of farming with fewer hassles when shifting stock.

“No longer needing to pre-movement test our animals before we shift or sell them is a huge relief. For many farmers, pre-movement TB testing is not only a hassle, but another on-farm cost,” said Mr Harwood.

Under the national TB control plan, the AHB aims to eradicate the disease from one quarter of the area at risk from the disease, which will see further reductions in testing. Herdowners will be notified when their next test is due, or can visit www.tbfree.org.nz/dcamap to check if they have been affected by the changes.

-ends-

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