The current National TB Pest Management Plan (NPMP) aims to eradicate TB biologically from New Zealand by 2055. The milestones in the plan include cattle and deer being free of TB by 2026, and possums by 2040. Until the disease is eradicated, we aim to contain the disease in cattle and deer to a national infected herd period prevalence of no more than 0.2%.
In the past our research has been orientated towards acquiring knowledge through long-term projects. Because we aim to have cattle and deer free of TB by 2026, the emphasis will move to projects that have defined short-term outcomes that help us meet this goal.
Over the next 5 years we'll invest in research that fills gaps in our knowledge and capability. We plan to work closely with staff and external stakeholders to design research projects aimed at operational efficiencies and innovations.
We plan to focus on:
We also plan to increase our research collaborations with technology companies and organisations involved in pest management — for example, the Department of Conservation, Predator Free 2050 Ltd (PF2050) and Zero Invasive Predators (ZIP).
Technology now offers us options that previously did not exist. Tools such as thermal and multispectral sensors, radar, artificial intelligence software, drones, automated remote data collection, and ‘big data’ analytics will benefit our work. For example:
We are creating a process for selecting projects. OSPRI shareholders will be invited to contribute research topics or proposals, and comment on the focus of research each year.
We plan to invest in projects that:
Our research provides benefits beyond the TB eradication programme. It contributes to the science underpinning livestock and wildlife animal health management, and disease detection, surveillance, monitoring and control.
Our research also supports the effectiveness of our National Animal Identification and Tracing (NAIT) programme, which traces livestock movements across the supply chain to manage animal health, disease outbreaks, and food safety and biosecurity risks.
Our pest control programmes bring significant biodiversity benefits and contribute to the goals of Predator Free 2050. Alongside this, our collaborations with other agencies support programmes such as the Department of Conservation’s Tiakina ngā manu.
Over the years, our main research effort and investment has gone into finding more efficient and cost-effective ways to control bovine TB. In the last 2 decades, we have invested in research to: