3 Nov 2009

TB strain in pig new to North Island

7:31 am on 3 November 2009

Routine surveying in the Tararua district has picked up a strain of bovine tuberculosis in a pig which had not been found before in the North Island.

The survey, carried out to confirm whether the East coast region was free of the disease, looked at the wild animal population in the Akitio and Herbertville areas.

Animal Health Board regional coordinator Terry Hynes says DNA testing has shown that the strain of TB the boar was infected with is similar to that found on the South Island's West Coast.

Mr Hynes says as that particular type had not been seen in the North Island before, it's likely the animal was brought in from elsewhere and illegally released in the area.

He is urging hunters not to move wild pigs between regions, which he says is is common practice in some areas, but can carry fines of up to $5000.

Mr Hynes says the annual bovine TB testing requirements may still be scaled back, but further surveys may be needed before that can happen.