Thursday, 13 February 2020 10:36

Controls in place to clear TB in Hawke’s Bay

Written by  Staff Reporters
OSPRI chief executive Stephen Stuart. OSPRI chief executive Stephen Stuart.

A small cluster of tuberculosis-infected cattle have been discovered in Hawke’s Bay.

Animal disease management agency OSPRI, which runs the national TBfree programme, has expanded its regional office in Napier to lead a response and will control stock movements in the vicinity to prevent any spread of disease.

The disease has been detected in 29 animals in nine herds since April 2019. One herd has since been cleared. Wildlife surveillance and DNA strain-typing indicates the source of infection is from wildlife north of the area.

“We will manage this cluster of infection and return Hawke’s Bay to TB-free status,” says OSPRI chief executive Stephen Stuart.

“The success of the TB programme is based on identifying disease, containing it with stock movement controls and removing the disease from herds.”

Possum control, TB testing and stock movement controls are the three planks in the TB eradication programme, which has brought down the number of infected herds in New Zealand from 1700 in the early 2000s to 26 at June 2019. 

Regional clusters of infection have been successfully managed during the past decade by containing and culling infected animals.

As an additional precautionary action, OSPRI will expand the livestock movement control area (MCA) in Hawke’s Bay from 1 March to prevent any potential spread of disease. 

Cattle and deer heading for stock sales need to have returned a clear TB test within 60 days prior to the date of movement. Movements directly to slaughter are exempt from these requirements.

OSPRI has created a webpage for the response: www.ospri.co.nz/hawkes-bay-tb-response 

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