We use three main techniques to control, and eventually eradicate, TB in New Zealand: in-herd disease management; movement control; and the control of wild animal ‘vectors’ that spread TB.
OSPRI's goal is to eradicate the disease from livestock by 2026, from possums by 2040 and from the whole of New Zealand by 2055.
The traditional approach to TB management is ' test-and-slaughter'. All cattle and deer in New Zealand must be registered with TBfree New Zealand and tested for TB at least once every three years. In high TB risk areas testing will be far more frequent. Every herd is given a TB status classification.
Up to 70 per cent of new herd infections in New Zealand's high TB risk areas can be traced to disease carrying wild animals, mainly possums. These animals are referred to as vectors. We use a wide range of vector control and surveillance programmes to contain, control and eventually eradicate TB in the wild.
Bovine TB can easily spread by the uncontrolled movement of infected stock. To help manage this risk, all cattle and deer have to be registered with the TBfree New Zealand programme. In areas of high TB risk, we have established Movement Control Areas (MCAs) in which certain movement restrictions apply.