3 Mar 2011

TB movement controls and testing reduced

11:57 am on 3 March 2011

Thousands of deer and cattle herds have had their bovine tuberculosis movement controls and testing requirements reduced.

The Animal Health Board says a fall in herd infection rates and improved wildlife control has meant it can reduce its restrictions for 5000 herds.

Technical and farm services manager Stu Hutchings says the majority of the changes affect farmers in the southern South Island.

More than 700 herds in parts of Northland and Hawke's Bay and in the Atiamuri area north of Taupo are also affected.

Dr Hutchings says some herds will go from having annual TB testing requirements to only having do them every two to three years.

He says the total number of infected herds in New Zealand has reduced from more than 1700 to about 70 over the past 10 years.