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New Zealand features at “Olympics” of TB control

New Zealand features at “Olympics” of TB control


New Zealand’s expertise in the eradication of bovine tuberculosis (TB) will be showcased in Wales this month at the prestigious international M.bovis conference.

TBfree New Zealand TB Eradication and Research Manager Dr Paul Livingstone QSO will be a keynote speaker at the conference. He is well known for advising other countries, including Wales, Ireland, Chile and the United States, on TB management.

Dr Livingstone has spent his working life managing the disease and has been a key part of TBfree New Zealand’s success. He said it is a privilege to speak in front of such an esteemed gathering of experts from around the world, with about 500 attendees expected at the conference.

Dr Livingstone will present a paper identifying the major factors that have led to a 95 per cent reduction in the number of infected herds in New Zealand since 1994 and the eradication of TB from infected possum populations across 800,000 hectares since 2011.

“New Zealand has focussed on eliminating TB from the main disease source, possums. Wild animals are the cause of around 70 per cent of new cattle and deer herd infections in TB risk areas,” said Dr Livingstone.

He will discuss the measures used in New Zealand to control the disease, which have led to the national pest management plan’s objective of eradicating TB.

“The three-pronged approach of wild animal control, disease management and movement restrictions has made significant progress in our battle against TB. As a result, New Zealand’s tactics in managing the disease are considered world leading,” said Dr Livingstone.
“The previous M.bovis conference was held in New Zealand in 2009 and hailed by attendees as a tremendous success – it could almost be considered the Olympics of TB control,” said Dr Livingstone.

“This year, the conference moves to Cardiff, where expert speakers from the United Kingdom, Australia, Europe and the United States, among others, will share their knowledge on bovine TB.”

Three other TBfree New Zealand staff will also be presenting papers at the conference. To find out more about the international M.bovis conference, visit www.bcva.eu/bcva/m-bovis

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