Approval of funding for TB eradication plan welcomed
Government funding for the ongoing plan to eradicate bovine tuberculosis has been approved by Minister for Primary Industries, Hon Nathan Guy. As part of an industry and Government partnership the Crown has committed $69.8m spread over the next four years (on top of $30.2m already contributed). The remaining funding for the TB Plan of $150m spread over the same period is provided by the beef, dairy, deer and livestock exporting industries.
OSPRI Chairman Jeff Grant has welcomed the announcement, ‘The confirmation of funding for the TBfree programme means we can fulfil our mandate and continue the excellent work done to date. Bovine TB has been very effectively managed in New Zealand over the past 20 years to the point where the number of cattle and deer herds showing infection has been reduced below 40.’
OSPRI CEO Michelle Edge said the goal of the new TB Plan is to eradicate bovine TB from New Zealand by 2055, with freedom from TB in livestock by 2026 and wildlife by 2040. With funding now confirmed OSPRI can begin planning future operations in accordance with new TB Plan.
Two important changes to the new plan will see the introduction of risk based testing and risk based vector control.
Ms Edge says, ‘Given the scope of these changes it is important to understand that the new plan will be phased in according to the design shaped by our field based research, and according to the new risk based approach to livestock testing and wildlife control. We will be working with our service providers, such as contractors and testing organisations, to work through the implications of the new plan on our operational-based work programmes.’
More details about the work to implement the new plan and the associated funding will be shared over the coming weeks.
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Acting Corporate Communications Manager