Following the impact of Cyclone Gabrielle, OSPRI is taking a pragmatic approach to TB testing in the Hawke’s Bay Movement Control Area (MCA).
Safety for people and animals is our primary concern, says OSPRI’s Disease Management, general manager, Danny Templeman. “We know either due to the ongoing impact to feed levels, damage to on farm infrastructure or general traditional animal movements like calf sales, animals need to move.”
So, over the next few months, if the usual pre-movement testing cannot be completed, farmers in the Hawke’s Bay MCA have the option of requesting an exemption to pre-movement testing. The animals can then move legally under an official permit and OSPRI will schedule post-movement testing at the animal’s new location.” Permits can be requested by phoning 0800 482 463.
“Farmers are also requesting pre-movement testing, and we commend them for their commitment to disease management in this incredibly difficult time. We continue to provide solutions for farmers to do pre-movement testing, but safety is our first concern at this stage,” said Templeman. Post-movement testing is the alternate option in cases where it is not safe or possible to do pre-movement testing.
We continue to advise farmers that if they are receiving animals which require post-movement testing, the best biosecurity and business practice is to keep animals separate until the testing is completed. As part of the exemption process OSPRI will notify the receiving farmer of the post-movement testing requirements.
“To be clear we are talking about herds that do not have cases of TB but are in a Movement Control Area. We are not talking about our case managed animals or infected herds. They continue to be managed on a case-by-case basis by our veterinarians and we work directly with those farmers.”
OSPRI is also instigating temporary policy changes to the routine TB testing regime in cyclone affected areas of the Hawke’s Bay, Gisborne, Northland and the Coromandel that are not in the Movement Control Area (MCA). For farmers who are able and wanting to complete their routine testing we can complete the testing if it’s safe for animals and people, and the property is accessible.
“Given the significant damage to properties and infrastructure OSPRI will not be requesting or enforcing any routine TB testing which is currently outstanding or becomes due within the next few months,” said Templeman.
Possum control operations have been impacted by ecosystem damage, restricted access to remote areas where we carry out control and forestry blocks focused on other priority work. To assess the long-term impact of the flooding from Cyclone Gabrielle on our pest control programme we will be gathering local intel and aerial footage on our areas of pest control. We will also be looking at research into possum population changes to ensure we make evidence-based decisions on any changes to our control plans.