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Southland TB campaigner wins deer industry award


Media release

22 May 2012

Southland TB campaigner wins deer industry award

Retiring TBfree Southland Committee member Kevin Gilmour has been awarded the prestigious Matuschka Award by the New Zealand Deer Farmers’ Association.

Kevin has been associated with the TBfree committee for 20 years. Until recently, he ran a successful deer farm on the edge of the Hokonui Hills, while working tirelessly to communicate, advocate and support the national bovine tuberculosis (TB) control programme in Southland.

“The award came as a very nice surprise. However, I can’t emphasis enough how important the support and technical expertise of the New Zealand Deer Farmers’ Association and TBfree committee has been in achieving our objectives,” he said.

Kevin joined the committee when his deer herd repeatedly broke down with bovine TB as a result of contact with infected possums.

“Bovine TB was not only causing financial hardship on our farm, but the disease was also affecting other Southland deer and cattle herdowners – something had to be done to bring it under control,” said Kevin.

His contribution to the deer industry has been crucial in protecting Southland from TB. The Matuschka Award honours Kevin’s commitment and service to the region’s deer farmers.

Not long after Kevin joined the committee, funds were provided for intensive possum control in the Hokonui Hills, which was a major TB stronghold in the region. Kevin has recently retired from farming.

TBfree Southland Committee Chairman Mike O’Brien expressed admiration for the time and effort Kevin put into his role on the committee.

“Kevin has been a strong advocate for eradicating the disease in Southland and also worked to maintain farmer support for the TB programme,” he said.

-ends-

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