April 12, 2018
Testing requirements of New Zealand's TB-free programme cut down
New Zealand's tuberculosis-free (TB) programme is paring down testing requirements for cattle and deer herds in some parts of the North Island, the New Zealand Herald reported.
Changes from this development went into effect on March 1.
The programme, which is created by OSPRI, a partnership between primary industries and the New Zealand government, divides the country into many disease control areas.
Each of this sector has different TB testing requirements and control measures, which are determined by the level of risk of TB being transferred from infected wildlife - mainly possums - to cattle and deer.
With the success of OSPRI's work in each area, disease control areas (DCA) are redefined and testing frequency reduced.
Currently, OSPRI's programme has eradicated TB from 1.83 million hectares - with 7.9 million hectares of vector risk area left to be dealt with.
Infected herds have been brought down to around 50 — a huge decrease from nearly 1,700 in 1994.
A revised plan for tackling TB was launched in 2016. The plan's goals include biological eradication by 2055, with cattle and deer herds free from TB by 2026. In order to achieve these objectives, changes to TB testing and pest control will be phased in.
This year's DCA changes affect more than 315,000 hectares. There will be less testing for 1,029 cattle and deer herds, which will save more than 32,000 TB tests.
- New Zealand Herald