2010-06-11

A Prick of a job! (Literally) Bovine TB Testing


Some weeks back I had a letter from MAF telling me my herd (what's left of it!) was due for their Bovine TB test. I didn't get any cattle on here of our until 2005 then registered them with the Animal Health Authority.

Dave our local MAF guy came out a couple of weeks back and put the reactor under the cow's tails, then came back a couple of days later, to check them again for any lumps. Good news my cows were cleared for another three years. MAF Agqual tests all cattle three years and older for the disease. If there's a reactor cow, then things are serious. Movement control restrictions instantly apply, and any affected animals are slaughtered, and checked for the signs of the disease.

In New Zealand Bovine TB is taken very seriously. Entire regions can become Movement Control areas. For Dairy, Beef and Deer Farmers, the economic consequences of an infected herd can be literally devastating.

Small Block owners as well have a responsibility to comply with the law the same as our farmers do. Your pet cow is not exempt and must be registered with the AHB.

And the carriers of this lovely (not) disease are our not so cute, and not so friendly furry marsupial creatures, the Australian Brush tailed Possum.

If you have them on your farm (which most likely there will be) bump them off.

Farmer's responsibility code

  1. The location and ownership of every cattle or deer herd must be registered with the Animal Health Board (AHB). Keep your herd details up-to-date and advise the AHB if you buy, sell or move your herd.

    Even if you have only one animal, that’s considered a herd and must be registered as such.
  2. If you’re moving cattle or deer one month of age or over out of your herd:

    1. They must be correctly identified with AHB approved ear tags.
    2. A full Animal Status Declaration (ASD) must go with the animals.
  3. If your herd is located in a Movement Control Area or some of your herd has tested positive for TB, make sure you understand and comply with requirements for pre-movement tests before moving stock.
  4. Before you purchase or graze cattle or deer over one month of age check they have AHB approved ear tags and an accompanying ASD form.
  5. When routine tests for TB are arranged for your herd, make sure you present all animals eligible for TB testing and that your yards are safe and suitable for testing to be carried out.
  6. If your property is within an AHB vector control operation area, please co-operate with the AHB’s control and monitoring contractors.
- Sourced from the Animal Heath Board Website

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