29 Jun 2010

Southland council backs bovine TB plan

2:01 pm on 29 June 2010

Southland Regional Council is backing an Animal Health Board proposal to introduce a voluntary code of practice for bovine tuberculosis testing in dairy herds.

This is despite accusations last week by the council that the Animal Health Board was to blame for the region's first case of TB in two years for allowing cows to be brought into the province from an area considered at high risk of TB.

Southland was declared free of the disease in 2008 but a cow at an Edendale farm was found to have TB in April. A second farm in the region has this week been cleared of the disease.

The regional council's chief executive, Ciaran Keogh, says it is now on side with the board in pushing for stronger post-movement control on stock imported from high-risk areas.

The chair of the Animal Health Board's TB-free Southland committee, Mike O'Brien, says the proposal is being considered by the board as part of its control programme review.

Mr O'Brien says the voluntary post-movement tests are likely to be in place for the entire country.