7 Dec 2010

Bovine TB control funding confirmed for 5 more years

1:37 pm on 7 December 2010

The Government has confirmed funding for another five years to help control bovine tuberculosis.

Agriculture Minister David Carter says it will provide $30 million a year to support the Animal Health Board's programme, which is working towards the eventual elimination of bovine TB from cattle and deer herds.

By targetting wild animals that spread the disease, the board has reduced cattle and deer herd infection rates from a peak of more than 1700 in 1994 to fewer than 100 herds.

The board's chief executive, William McCook, says that represents 0.27% of the country's cattle and deer herds, which is well on track to meeting the 0.2% target.

Under a revised National Pest Management Strategy, the board is looking to eradicate the disease in possums and other wildlife from one quarter of the areas where TB-infected animals are present.

About 40% of the country is classified as vector risk areas.

The TB management programme costs more than $80 million a year. Of this, the beef, dairy and deer industries pay more than half, and regional councils about $6 million.