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Otago landowners help control TB through levy

Media release

23 April 2014

Otago landowners help control TB through levy

Consultation with Otago landowners over the levy for the region’s bovine tuberculosis (TB) control programme has gathered positive responses.

TBfree Otago Committee Chairman Ross Beckingsale said through the levy and a grant from the Otago Regional Council, landowners will fund around 10 per cent of the $7.5 million TB control programme to be implemented in the region.

The remainder comes from the farming sector and central government.

The 2014/2015 programme will consist of about one million hectares of pest control, mainly ground-based possum trapping, and a single aerial operation in difficult terrain. There will also be work assessing the possum populations and surveillance of pests to detect if TB is present in wild animal populations.

There are currently seven infected herds in Otago, down from more than 300 in 1997. Possums are responsible for the majority of new cattle and deer herd infections in TB risk areas.

“The continuing low level of infected herds is evidence that our TB control programme is on track, and paving the way towards eradicating the disease from parts of the region,” said Mr Beckingsale.

“While the complete removal of bovine TB from Otago will take some years, the committee thanks landowners for their valuable contribution to the programme’s progress,” he said.

-ends-

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