Eradicating bovine TB in NZ

As part of our TBfree programme we deliver our pest control operations through a framework of TB management areas (TMAs). TMAs are areas with known TB infection in livestock and wildlife. Each TMA has a specific TB control plan designed to eradicate TB as effectively as possible.

South Canterbury Core TMA

The South Canterbury Core TMA covers 399,380ha extending from the Waitaki River system north and eastwards to the Hunters Hills and Burkes Pass and includes the area between the Ben Ohau Range and Lake Benmore.

It is a mixture of high country tussock, rock, scree and scrub together with improved farmland. It supports a mixture of intensive and extensive farming.

History of TB and pest control in South Canterbury Core

TB became established in wildlife and domestic herds within the South Canterbury Core TMA from the 1980s, especially within the Mackenzie Basin. Ferrets are widely distributed and infection was previously common in the 1980s and 1990s, but has been sporadic since. 

Possum control undertaken during this period succeeded in suppressing infected herd numbers. However, the sporadic nature of this control would not have been enough to achieve possum TB freedom throughout the TMA.

The role of ferrets as a maintenance host of TB within this TMA remains an unknown and will continue to be investigated by surveys and research.

We completed ground-based possum control in

  • 2015/2016 in the Benmore, Haldon 1 and 2, Haka 2, 3, 4 and Ext blocks covering 137,800 ha
  • 2017/2018 in the Waitangi block.

We did ferret surveys throughout the majority of this TMA during 2017/2018 covering more than 148,900 ha.

We also completed aerial possum control during 2014/2015 in the Waitangi operational block covering over 9,000 ha.

Current state

There are currently no infected herds in the South Canterbury Core TMA.

Future pest control operations

We plan our pest control operations up to 3 years in advance. The current year runs from July 2021 to June 2022.

Dates and control methods for pest control operations in Grey West are provisional and subject to change. If you’re affected by any upcoming operations, our pest control contractors will contact you before work begins. They will:

  • talk you through the specifics of each operation
  • explain what you need to do before the operations start
  • get your consent for the work to be done.
Type of controlWhenCoverageWhere
Ferret survey2021/20228100haBenmore East
Ground control2021/20229600haBenmore


High Country Contracting Limited manage eradication activities in the South Canterbury Core TMA. Contact them directly if you have feedback or questions about upcoming operations.

High Country Contracting Limited
Phone: 0508 767 786

Your nearest local OSPRI office is in Dunedin.

OSPRI Dunedin office
PO Box 5745
Moray Place
Dunedin 9058
Phone: 03 477 9829