Proving freedom from TB


Proving TB Freedom 

The TBfree programme aims for TB freedom in possums by 2040. 

TB freedom requires proof the disease has been removed, and while providing something isn't there is almost impossible, the proof of freedom model gives confidence that an area is free from TB. 

TBfree takes the disease to such low levels in possums that it dies out. Then farm cattle and deer will no longer be at risk of contracting TB from wildlife.  

Vector Risk Areas identify where it is believed TB exists in wildlife and as we travel down the road to TB freedom, targeted possum control is undertaken with ground and aerial operations. 

Control operations reduce possum numbers to levels where TB can no longer be maintained. Once we are confident that TB is absent in possums, proof is required to declare areas TB-free. 

The proof of freedom model considers possum control history, population density, TB testing history and survey results. The model guides decisions on what action to take next — continue possum control and surveillance activities, or stop. Once the proof of freedom model indicates 95% confidence that TB is absent, a panel of experts consider declaring an area free from TB. 

When an area is declared free from TB, Vector Risk Areas are reclassified as Vector Free Areas, and pest control will cease for TB purposes. 

We'll stay vigilant for signs of TB through ongoing testing of livestock on farms, through slaughter surveillance at meat processors, and with wildlife surveillance, as required. 

Find out more: check your TMA on this website.