TBfree New Zealand (formerly the Animal Health Board) manages the National Pest Management Plan for bovine TB. The plan aims to eradicate TB by 2026 from at least 2.5 million hectares of New Zealand's TB-risk areas and keep infected herd levels as low as possible.
DairyNZ is the biggest industry investor in the national TB control programme. It is the single largest investment of the milksolids levy and accounts for an average of over $15 million each year.
Since mid-2011, the area of New Zealand declared TB-free has increased by almost 500,000 hectares.
Benefits for farmers include reduced TB testing requirements and the lifting of livestock movement restrictions. About 70 per cent of new herd infections in TB-risk areas can be traced to possums.
TBfree New Zealand controls the disease through:
- Disease management: detects TB within herds through an extensive TB testing programme and culling of infected animals.
- Wild animal (vector) control: seeks to eliminate TB from wildlife, particularly in possums, as the main carrier and transmitters of the disease to farmed cattle and deer.
- Movement control: minimises the risk of infection being spread between herds.
For more information visit www.tbfree.org.nz