Tb testing of herds in South loosened

Possum control in Otago is helping reduce the incidence of bovine tuberculosis. Photo by Stephen...
Possum control in Otago is helping reduce the incidence of bovine tuberculosis. Photo by Stephen Jaquiery.
In a further sign the battle with bovine tuberculosis in the South is being won, movement and testing requirements have been eased for more than 3500 southern cattle and deer herds.

The Animal Health Board (AHB) has announced that because of success in controlling bovine Tb wildlife vectors, 187 southern herds will no longer be required to have pre-movement testing for the disease.

In addition, 2481 herds will move from testing every two years to three-yearly testing, and 945 move from annual to testing every two years.

The southern South Island areas where movement-control requirements have been relaxed include North Aviemore, north of Benmore and Otematata, the coastal Otago hills east of the Taieri Plains, the Blue Mountains, east of Waikoikoi and north to Edievale and southeast Hokonui from Mandeville to Dipton.

The Animal Health Board will notify individual farmers of the changes.

The changes also mean a reduction of 125,262ha in the area of the South under movement control for deer and cattle, stock on 560,500ha of farm land will now no longer require annual testing and those on more than one million ha will not require two-yearly testing.

The area of the southern South Island under surveillance has increased by 1.7 million ha.

By comparison, 250 herds in south Kaipara, 341 in Hawkes Bay and 100 in the Waikato will have an easing in Tb testing.

The National Animal Identification and Traceability (Nait) body and the AHB have reached agreement for phasing out of barcoded ear tags, which are currently mandatory.

The move will allow farmers to start using Nait-approved radio frequency identification devices (RFID) as the primary tag for stock born after March 1 and which will become mandatory on November 1.

AHB-approved tags can still be used as secondary tags.

Nait chief executive Russell Burnard said previously the Animal Health Board had only agreed to Nait-approved RFID tags to be used as a secondary tag, but the change would benefit farmers in many ways, including the ease of tagging small rather than mature animals.

AHB chief executive William McCook said farmers must still complete full and accurate animal status declaration for all off-farm movement of animals.


Add a Comment