As at 25 February, there are currently eight herds infected, with seven of them beef and one dairy. One herd has been cleared of infection and 11 herds are being investigated.
This week, Beef + Lamb New Zealand (B+LNZ) representatives attended three drop-in sessions for farmers organised by OSPRI. These meetings provided farmers with an opportunity to ask questions about the response and understand the steps being taken to contain the spread.
From this Sunday (1st March), the existing Movement Control Area (MCA) will be extended to cover 572 farms from the Mohaka River in the north to the Tutaekuri River just south of Napier.
Compulsory pre-movement TB testing is in place ahead of autumn weaner sales to help prevent any spread of the disease. This pre-movement testing is being prioritised by AsureQuality.
All cattle over three months of age, or deer over eight months of age, must be TB tested within 60 days before moving from a farm. Stock moving directly to slaughter do not need a pre-movement test. Infected animals identified through TB testing are removed from herds.
Planned possum control, both ground and aerial, is being stepped up to shore up the control buffer zone and to hit the source of the infection in back country areas.
Farmers can contact OSPRI on 0800 482 463 to book a pre-movement test or adjust scheduled testing. This is recommended for herds that may not have their herd test scheduled until autumn-winter this year.
If animals are moving to a runoff or grazing block and managed under the same herd number as the home property, they will not require testing. If they are moving to a property with another herd, they will require pre-movement testing.
Pre-movement and whole herd testing can be done at the same time, provided the TB test is done within 60 days prior to the movement. OSPRI can compensate owners of stock slaughtered as TB reactors.
Owners of herds with Clear status within the MCA can seek exemption from pre-movement TB testing under the following conditions, provided the animals are not going for private or public sale and are staying under the same ownership:
Where the animals have been, or will be, grazing for a short term (less than 90 days) within the MCA:
- Where facilities for TB testing are not available.
- Where animals are required to be moved as a result of a civil disaster, such as drought.
- For reasons of animal welfare.
- Where animals are likely to be in an immuno-compromised state which would affect TB test results.
- Humanitarian reasons, such as family bereavement.
Cattle or deer exempted from pre-movement testing requirements may be subject to additional requirements post-movement.
This is a frustrating disease flare-up and B+LNZ is working closely with OSPRI to understand its approach and provide advice on the practical implications for farmers.
We’ll continue to keep you updated and ensure that our Regional Farmer Council-driven activities cater for this challenge alongside the others currently being faced by farmers.
As always, don’t hesitate to get in touch with your B+LNZ regional rep with any questions or suggestions.
Key information, including infected herd numbers and status of possum control operations, can be found at www.ospri.co.nz/hawkes-bay