23 Mar 2010

Outbreak of bovine Tb in Taranaki

7:13 am on 23 March 2010

About 50 farmers in southern Taranaki face increased testing for their cattle and deer herds as the Animal Health Board tries to eliminate recent outbreaks of bovine tuberculosis in the region.

Taranaki had been free of bovine Tb for a number of years, but four herds in the Opunake area have become infected during the past 12 to 18 months.

The board's co-ordinator for the southern North Island, Terry Hynes, says that has caused some alarm, as they have not been able to pinpoint whether the Tb came from other stock brought into the area, or from local wildlife.

Mr Hynes says a survey of wild animals in south Taranaki, including possums, ferrets and feral cats found no signs of Tb infection so far, but that work, as well as possum control, will continue.