Friday, 21 September 2012 14:13

Reminder to TB test bulls

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Bulls over 12 months entering the dairy industry can be tested for free for bovine tuberculosis (TB), says the Animal Health Board (AHB).

It has issued the reminder to all traders and receiving herdowners.

Commercial bull lessors should get a TB test for bulls done before marketing and leasing them to provide peace of mind to receiving herdowners.

Dairy farmers should insist service bulls have had TB tests before accepting them onto their property, or at least ascertain that one has been completed in the past six months.

All cattle moving from a Movement Control Area (MCA) are still legally required to be TB tested within 60 days of movement.

Despite cattle and deer herd infections mainly being traced to possums, stock movement-related TB infections still occur. Protecting rural businesses, farms and lifestyles requires constant vigilance.

Bay of Plenty dairy farmer Quintin Watts knows too well the devastation TB can cause after his herd was infected by introduced stock.

"Don't be complacent, and don't think that TB is not out there. Do your checks and you will know you have done everything you could to prevent it. It is something of which we all need to be aware," he says.

Bulls must also be accompanied by an Animal Status Declaration (ASD) form. Make sure you send and receive yours and check that the TB disease section is complete; the TB test date of the animal(s) is recorded; and the herd status is supplied.

Herdowners should phone the AHB on 0800 482 4636 for all TB enquiries, such as arranging a free TB test for your bull. Please note all cattle should now be NAIT-compliant. However, it is recommended that AHB ear tags are not removed.

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