We make a substantial investment in research to inform the design of our TBfree programme. Our three-year strategy document has set the direction for research activities until 2021.
We work with key research partners such as Manaaki Whenua Landcare Research, AgResearch and New Zealand universities to inform the design of our disease management and pest/carrier species (vectors) control programme.
We have a budget of $2 million to $2.5 million per year for our research programme.
We are particularly interested in research on the relationship between pest/carrier species (vectors) and disease transmission. Research on the development and implementation of new tools and processes for vector control, and for understanding the ecology of wildlife vectors and TB is ongoing.
Research in key areas such as disease surveillance, livestock testing and disease diagnostics, alongside wildlife management, population density surveillance and population control, has contributed to TB control and eradication.
The use of 1080 to control the spread of disease is controversial in some areas of society. Field research is being conducted on ways to manage, mitigate and resolve impacts on non-target species, such as deer and kea. Research also continues into pest control and management alternatives to 1080.
Further challenges are emerging in related livestock disease diagnostics and testing, and movement diagnostics for animal health surveillance. Research is increasingly shifting from fundamental to applied. There's now a greater focus on understanding the important role of post-mortem surveillance in disease detection and management.