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

 

Cosmetics & Pollution: Proposal To Ban Microbeads

Cosmetic products containing microbeads will be banned under a proposal announced by the Minister for the Environment today. Marine scientists have been advocating for a ban on the microplastics, which have been found to quickly enter waterways and harm marine life. More>>

ALSO:

NIWA: 2016 New Zealand’s Warmest Year On Record

Annual temperatures were above average (0.51°C to 1.20°C above the annual average) throughout the country, with very few locations observing near average temperatures (within 0.5°C of the annual average) or lower. The year 2016 was the warmest on record for New Zealand, based on NIWA’s seven-station series which begins in 1909. More>>

ALSO:

Farewell 2016: NZ Economy Flies Through 2016's Political Curveballs

Dec. 23 (BusinessDesk) - New Zealand's economy batted away some curly political curveballs of 2016 to end the year on a high note, with its twin planks of a booming construction sector and rampant tourism soon to be joined by a resurgent dairy industry. More>>

ALSO:


NZ Economy: More Growth Than Expected In 3rd Qtr

Dec. 22 (BusinessDesk) - New Zealand's economy grew at a faster pace than expected in the September quarter as a booming construction sector continued to underpin activity, spilling over into related building services, and was bolstered by tourism and transport ... More>>

  • NZ Govt - Solid growth for NZ despite fragile world economy
  • NZ Council of Trade Unions - Government needs to ensure economy raises living standards
  • KiwiRail Goes Deisel: Cans electric trains on partially electrified North Island trunkline

    Dec. 21 (BusinessDesk) – KiwiRail, the state-owned rail and freight operator, said a small fleet of electric trains on New Zealand’s North Island would be phased out over the next two years and replaced with diesel locomotives. More>>

  • KiwiRail - KiwiRail announces fleet decision on North Island line
  • Greens - Ditching electric trains massive step backwards
  • Labour - Bill English turns ‘Think Big’ into ‘Think Backwards’
  • First Union - Train drivers condemn KiwiRail’s return to “dirty diesel”
  • NZ First - KiwiRail Going Backwards for Xmas
  • NIWA: The Year's Top Science Findings

    Since 1972 NIWA has operated a Clean Air Monitoring Station at Baring Head, near Wellington... In June, Baring Head’s carbon dioxide readings officially passed 400 parts per million (ppm), a level last reached more than three million years ago. More>>

    ALSO:

    Get More From Scoop

     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
    Sci-Tech
    Search Scoop  
     
     
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news