5 Jul 2016

TB eradication programme marks milestone

7:45 am on 5 July 2016

New Zealand has taken another step towards becoming TB-free with large areas of previously infected land being declared free of the disease.


Possum control is a major element of the TB eradication programme. Photo: 123RF

OSPRI administers the TBfree programme aimed at eradicating bovine tuberculosis from cattle, deer and wildlife.

It has has been progressively achieving this by intensive possum control, then carrying out wildlife surveys to confirm the disease has been eradicated.

OSPRI chief executive Michelle Edge said a total area of nearly 1.6 million hectares has been declared free of the disease since 2011.

Ms Edge says it was a fantastic milestone for the TBfree programme and reflected the ongoing investment by shareholders, farmers and contractors.

The key objectives of the plan are eradicating the disease form cattle and deer herds by 2026, from possums by 2040 and biological eradication of TB from New Zealand by 2055.