We have legal powers under the Biosecurity Act that allow our staff and contractors to enter land to carry out necessary pest control, survey work and livestock testing. However, we much prefer to work alongside landowners and land occupiers when pest control needs to be done.

We can legally direct landowners and land occupiers to carry out pest control work themselves. If they fail to act when reasonably directed, then we can arrange for the work to be carried out and can recover the costs of this from them.

Any exercise of powers must be carried out by or under the supervision of an Authorised Person.

Legal powers and obligations

Under the Biosecurity Act 1993, OSPRI has certain legal powers that can be used to implement the TBfree programme. These powers must be exercised by persons authorised to use these powers under the Biosecurity Act. Broadly stated, these powers are to:

  • enter land and detect or manage pests on that land
  • direct land occupiers to carry out pest management
  • test cattle or deer (or other organisms) for TB
  • enter land to muster and test or destroy untested cattle or deer.

While legal powers may be used to enforce disease or pest management requirements, our primary objective is to work cooperatively with landowners.

We aim to avoid the use of legal powers through timely consultation and negotiated agreements with land occupiers, including written agreements for the use of specified pest control methods on their land. As part of this process, we provide written notice of planned operations, and for some operations (such as trapping and poison baiting) we visit landowners to obtain written permission for specific activities on their land. We delegate certain notifications and visits to contractors.