Jamie Gray is a business reporter for the NZ Herald

Budget 2016: $70m will help fight against bovine tuberculosis

 

The Budget confirmed $69.8 million of new operating funding over the next four years to help eradicate bovine tuberculosis, said Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy.

The new funding will help achieve goals of eradicating bovine TB from cattle and deer by 2026, and from TB-infected wildlife in New Zealand by 2055, Guy said. The amended TB Plan was a fundamental shift in approach - from containing the disease to active eradication in livestock and wildlife.

Since 2002, the number of infected cattle herds has reduced by 90 per cent, and infected deer herds are down by 95 per cent. TB has been cleared from wild animals in more than 1.2 million ha of forest since 2011.

"This success means we can take a more targeted, scientific risk-based approach to both TB testing for cattle and deer, and wildlife control," Guy said.

"This work is important because the ability of our beef, dairy and deer industries to compete in global markets hinges on the successful management of TB."

The management agency for the TB Plan is OSPRI (TB Free NZ), which carries out the work around the country.

The beef, dairy and deer sectors, and the live cattle and deer animal export sectors also contribute funding to the national bovine tuberculosis management plan.

- NZ Herald

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