Vigilance Following Far North Bovine TB Outbreak

NEW ZEALAND - Far North farmers are being urged to be vigilant after the discovery of a livestock herd infected with bovine tuberculosis.
calendar icon 9 July 2009
clock icon 2 minute read

The infection was found in one home-bred cow in a large dairy herd in the Kaitaia district. It is the first outbreak of the disease to occur within the region for 8 years, and is of concern because of the number of animal contacts and movements involved.

An investigation is under way to find the source of the infection, but it is believed to be related to movement of livestock. The infected cow has been slaughtered in line with legal requirements.

The Animal Health Board’s regional coordinator, Frank Pavitt, said: "The farmer involved took all necessary care and complied fully with tuberculosis control programme regulations.

"This underlines the need for all farmers to be aware of the threat that the disease poses.

"There is no evidence of bovine tuberculosis infection in surrounding wildlife, such as possums. We are now working to establish the precise source of the infection.

“The main priority is to be sure infection hasn’t been passed to surrounding wildlife, because once the disease is there it is an enormously expensive exercise to control its spread," he said.

Northland TBfree Committee chairman, Neil MacMillan, said: "This brings home just how essential movement control and regular tuberculosis testing is, even in clear areas, and that extreme vigilance is still needed by Northland farmers to prevent further spread of the disease.

"It is important to focus on finding and eradicating any on-farm infections so that Far North farming isn’t disrupted any more than is necessary and any impact on the regional economy is minimised.

"We will also be providing support for the farmer involved in the outbreak and would ask all Far North farmers to comply with testing and movement requirements and for hunters and stock agents to also be vigilant," Mr MacMillan said.

Cattle and deer farmers, hunters and landowners wanting to know more about tuberculosis control in Northland can visit the AHB website at

Further Reading

- Find out more information on Bovine TB by clicking here.

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