Date of this Version
The Pest Management Strategy for Bovine Tuberculosis (Tb) in New Zealand aims to achieve efficient freedom from Tb by 2013 and to eradicate the disease from livestock and wildlife. The West Taupo area, in the central North Island of New Zealand, was chronically infected with Tb in both domestic livestock herds (cattle and deer) and within wildlife populations (brushtail possum, ferret, feral deer and pigs). Through the development and implementation of a technically innovative management plan, this area is now approaching Tb free status. The case study / management plan reported here discusses the operational techniques and strategies that were implemented to achieve Tb clearance in the livestock herds and the possibilities of eradication from wildlife species. It particularly identifies the variations in control strategies that are required as population densities reduce and the challenges of maintaining strong effective control at low densities of some wildlife species, whilst not needing to control other species that were initially clinically diagnosed with Tb control. Use of diagnostic tools and education as an area moves through the cycle towards Tb freedom are as essential as the physical control activities. The use of intensive monitoring of both livestock and wildlife species as trend and performance indicators and the need to educate farmers, hunters and other land use groups become increasingly important.