17 Feb 2014

Bovine Tb almost cleared in Northland

7:37 am on 17 February 2014

An outbreak of bovine tuberculosis in Northland cattle herds has almost been eradicated, with the last of seven infected herds on the verge of being declared free of the disease.

The six herds now cleared of the disease had been linked by stock movements which occurred before Tb was diagnosed. The seventh farm is waiting for herd testing results.

Tb Free Northland Committee chair Neil MacMillan said quick and accurate information on livestock movements has minimised the effect on the farming community.

He said farmers and landowners also co-operated in allowing Tb testing and wild animal control operations on their properties.

Contractors carried out trapping for signs of the disease in wildlife, especially in possums.

Post mortems on nearly 1400 possums showed no evidence that Tb has spread to wildlife in Northland.

Mr MacMillan says the herd infections are a sharp reminder that farmers need to make wise decisions when buying and selling stock.