Video | Business Headlines | Internet | Science | Scientific Ethics | Technology | Search

 


Sweet-smelling possums may help to eradicate TB

Sweet-smelling possums may help to eradicate TB

Using sex pheromones to capture possums is one example of the cutting-edge TB control initiatives featured in this year’s Animal Health Board (AHB) annual report and research report.

A two-year study into using sexually receptive female possums as a way to capture possums of both sexes in areas where numbers are low is among the scientific work forming part of the $2.5 million annually allocated by the AHB to research.

AHB Chief Executive William McCook said the two reports show the continuing significant progress being made in controlling and eradicating bovine TB from New Zealand, with the support of a range of government and industry partners.

“In late 2011 we reached our infected herd target some 18 months ahead of schedule and this leaves us well-placed to begin a concerted effort to banish TB from wildlife – and ultimately from New Zealand,” he said.

“Our 15-year strategy, which began in July 2011, aims to reduce the TB-risk area in New Zealand by some 2.5 million hectares – or one quarter of its current size.

“Having succeeded in reducing infected herd numbers by 96 per cent since 1994, we are supremely well-placed to eradicate the disease from many areas known to contain TB-infected wildlife, particularly possums which are the main culprits in transmitting the disease to cattle and deer herds.

Mr McCook said increased use of portable electronic devices to capture data on the presence, or absence, of TB in wildlife, along with improved methods of targeting possum control in areas where it is most needed would continue to drive efficiencies in the national programme which also incorporates routine livestock testing and herd movement restrictions.

“We also announced exciting plans to eradicate TB from around 200,000 hectares of the West Coast, where the disease has plagued herdowners for several decades.”

West of Lake Taupo, AHB-commissioned researchers have also been exploring new control techniques in difficult terrain.

“This work is covered in the research report, along with a similar study being undertaken in Southland. We are now in a strong position to prove we can rid New Zealand of TB in difficult forest terrain such as the Hauhungaroa Range and the Hokonui Hills,” said Mr McCook.

“We continue to work alongside our strategy partners DairyNZ, Beef + Lamb New Zealand, the deer industry, Federated Farmers and both central and local government.

“When you see what is happening elsewhere in the world, it is important to ensure we have a highly effective TB control programme which is delivering on its promises and protecting premium export market access for dairy, beef and deer products and the $14 billion per year they contribute to the economy.”

Both reports are available on the AHB website www.tbfree.org.nz


-ends-

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Sky City : Auckland Convention Centre Cost Jumps By A Fifth

SkyCity Entertainment Group, the casino and hotel operator, is in talks with the government on how to fund the increased cost of as much as $130 million to build an international convention centre in downtown Auckland, with further gambling concessions ruled out. The Auckland-based company has increased its estimate to build the centre to between $470 million and $530 million as the construction boom across the country drives up building costs and design changes add to the bill.
More>>

ALSO:

RMTU: Mediation Between Lyttelton Port And Union Fails

The Rail and Maritime Union (RMTU) has opted to continue its overtime ban indefinitely after mediation with the Lyttelton Port of Christchurch (LPC) failed to progress collective bargaining. More>>

Earlier:

Science Policy: Callaghan, NSC Funding Knocked In Submissions

Callaghan Innovation, which was last year allocated a budget of $566 million over four years to dish out research and development grants, and the National Science Challenges attracted criticism in submissions on the government’s draft national statement of science investment, with science funding largely seen as too fragmented. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: Spark, Voda And Telstra To Lay New Trans-Tasman Cable

Spark New Zealand and Vodafone, New Zealand’s two dominant telecommunications providers, in partnership with Australian provider Telstra, will spend US$70 million building a trans-Tasman submarine cable to bolster broadband traffic between the neighbouring countries and the rest of the world. More>>

ALSO:

More:

Statistics: Current Account Deficit Widens

New Zealand's annual current account deficit was $6.1 billion (2.6 percent of GDP) for the year ended September 2014. This compares with a deficit of $5.8 billion (2.5 percent of GDP) for the year ended June 2014. More>>

ALSO:

Still In The Red: NZ Govt Shunts Out Surplus To 2016

The New Zealand government has pushed out its targeted return to surplus for a year as falling dairy prices and a low inflation environment has kept a lid on its rising tax take, but is still dangling a possible tax cut in 2017, the next election year and promising to try and achieve the surplus pledge on which it campaigned for election in September. More>>

ALSO:

Job Insecurity: Time For Jobs That Count In The Meat Industry

“Meat Workers face it all”, says Graham Cooke, Meat Workers Union National Secretary. “Seasonal work, dangerous jobs, casual and zero hours contracts, and increasing pressure on workers to join non-union individual agreements. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
Standards New Zealand

Standards New Zealand
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sci-Tech
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news