Mangakino TB under control
Positive steps have been taken to control a bovine tuberculosis (TB) infection in the Mangakino area that affected several herds run as part of the same business.
National Animal Identification and Tracing (NAIT) and Livestock Improvement Corporation data has allowed OSPRI’s TBfree veterinarians to trace any stock that have been moved off the properties.
These animals will be TB tested to avoid the disease spreading.
Immediate neighbours of the infected herds have been reassured that the disease is contained and there is negligible risk of it spreading over the fence.
Bovine TB is spread through close contact between animals.
The disease is not transmitted by gumboots or tractor and truck tyres.
TBfree Waikato Committee chairman John Bubb said having bovine TB in your herd could cause extreme emotional and financial stress for the affected farmer.
‘‘They need support to help them through this difficult time. There are various avenues available to farmers with a TBinfected herd, including their local TBfree committee member who is likely to have experienced the effects of the disease firsthand, Rural Support Trusts and TBfree staff,’’ said Bubb.
‘‘Importantly, the farmer needs the support of their neighbours and local community.
‘‘There remains an unfortunate stigma attached to herd TB infections. This can be addressed by keeping neighbours informed of the situation and organising events such as shed meetings.’’
The number of infected herds has dropped from about 1700 in the mid-1990s to 51 and today the awareness of bovine TB in New Zealand has declined, according to OSPRI.
‘‘Educating farmers about the risk of TB is vital towards keeping infected herd numbers under control. Nearly 10 million hectares of New Zealand is known to contain TB- infected wild animals, with possums being the main source of the disease in these areas,’’ said Bubb.
The infected herds are currently subject to a Restricted Place Notice, meaning they cannot be shifted off farm unless going straight to slaughter or issued with an official permit to move.