Changes made after 2015 bovine Tb outbreak

Testing and surveillance changes have been made around Mt Cargill, near Dunedin, after a bovine Tb outbreak in 2015.

TBfree has increased the testing requirements for cattle and deer and designated the area a movement control area to avoid the spread of Tb through movement of stock.

As of March 1, all cattle and deer in the wider Mt Cargill area need a Tb test within 60 days before being moved to another property.

The testing changes a part of a wider programme which included targeted possum control, research and survey operations.

Possums and ferrets are the main carriers of the disease.

Farming in a movement control area was a good thing as farmers knew any animals they sold had been tested and were clear before they left the property and ''it doesn't penalise you'', Outram farmer and Otago TBfree committee member Marty Deans said.

''Being in a movement control area is one of those things that you just have to get on with,'' Mr Deans, who has twice found Tb in his herd, said.

It was important farmers did not blame themselves about their herd having Tb.

When he found out his stock had it, he had to be proactive and think about ways to change the farming operation and stocking policy.

There was help out there for farmers, and they just had to ask, he said.

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