Disease Control Area Reductions Mean Fewer TB Tests

Press Release – OSPRI New Zealand

The farming industrys investment in TB eradication is proving effective as New Zealands TBfree programme reduces testing requirements in many areas.

TB AREA CHANGES REDUCE TESTING

FEBRUARY 2017

Disease Control Area Reductions Mean Fewer TB Tests for Farmers

The farming industry’s investment in TB eradication is proving effective as New Zealand’s TBfree programme reduces testing requirements in many areas.

The TBfree programme manages Disease Control Areas (DCAs) throughout New Zealand that focus on areas of varying risk of livestock TB infection from the main vector of disease, possums. A strategy that combines targeted possum control, TB testing and stock movement controls helps control the spread of bovine TB beyond these boundaries.

Each year, DCA boundaries and the TB testing regime within them are assessed and adjusted according to progress in the TBfree programme. From 1 March, reductions to DCAs affect 2.3 million hectares and nearly 7400 herds, resulting in 289,000 fewer TB tests for cattle and deer herds.

The change of status for the Waikato Special Testing Area, which reduces TB testing to triennial and aligns dairy testing with beef cattle and deer, affects more than a million hectares, 2410 dairy herds and reduces the number of individual tests required by more than 120,000.

In one area of the South Island where TB-infected possums and stock were identified, a movement control area has been established around the Mount Cargill region of Otago to manage the resolution of the localised incident. Pest control and surveillance is continuing, and stock must be tested before moving out of the region.

Michelle Edge, Chief Executive of OSPRI, which manages the TBfree programme, says that as TB management work proves successful in each area, disease control areas are reviewed based on detailed scientific analysis and data modelling. Accordingly, where TB eradication targets have been met, testing requirements are reduced.

“The progress of the TBfree programme is a credit to farmers, the industry and Government organisations that invest in the TBfree programme and in the ultimate goal of making New Zealand TB-free.”

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