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First clear TB test for Taranaki infected herds

15 July 2013

First clear TB test for Taranaki infected herds

All six of the Taranaki region’s bovine tuberculosis (TB) infected herds showed no trace of the disease after the latest round of testing.

TBfree Taranaki Committee Chairman Donald McIntyre said the test results are the first step towards ridding the herds of TB. They also came as a relief to the affected herdowners.

“Having an infected herd is extremely stressful for the affected farmer. The co-operation and support of the Taranaki farming community in helping the TB control programme stay on top of the herd infections has been greatly appreciated,” said Mr McIntyre.

TBfree New Zealand National Disease Manager Kevin Crews said that once an animal is diagnosed with TB, the entire herd is required to pass two whole herd tests and a follow-up blood test before it can be declared free of infection.

“This means confirming the herds are no longer infected can be a long process, depending on the results of the upcoming tests,” said Mr Crews.

TBfree New Zealand continues to proactively investigate the source of the disease in the two infected herd clusters near Opunake and Inglewood, while making every effort to clear them of TB.

“The infections act as a stark reminder to herdowners in the Taranaki region – and throughout the country – to remain vigilant when buying, selling or moving livestock,” said Mr Crews.

Farmers need to ensure they are aware of the TB status of any stock coming onto their property by calling TBfree New Zealand on 0800 482 4636.

“The NAIT programme is also proving invaluable in tracing an animal’s movement history. Cattle and deer farmers should ensure their herds are registered with both TBfree New Zealand and NAIT,” said Mr Crews.

“The increased cattle and deer testing requirements will remain around the Opunake and Inglewood areas for some time to check for any potential herd infections. No further infected cattle or deer herds have been detected at this stage.

“To date, precautionary wild animal surveys have not detected TB in the local possum population. This survey work will continue until we are confident that there is no wild animal TB risk present,” said Mr Crews.

ENDS

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