Weekly update

This week:

  • we have 18 herds with a TB infected status in the region. 9 of these herds have completed their first clear whole-herd test, and we expect at least half of them to achieve confirmed clear status at their next test
  • we’re investigating 5 other herds for TB — these herds need further testing before we can determine whether or not TB is present
  • a total of 12 herds have been cleared of infection, and are now back to TB-free status.

Hawke's Bay TB response graph

Background

Hawke’s Bay is an area with known TB infection in livestock and wildlife. We've identified TB in possums, deer and farmed cattle in the area, and DNA testing indicates the TB outbreak originated in possums. To deal with this outbreak, we have a focused programme of work in place that includes:

  • TB testing
  • ground-based and aerial pest control activities
  • wildlife surveillance.

We’re working with the Hawke's Bay farming community, industry groups, OSPRI vets, pest control contractors, stock and station agents, and trucking companies in a collective effort to return Hawke's Bay to TB-free status as soon as possible.

Hawke’s Bay movement control area (MCA)

Movement control areas, or MCAs, control how and where livestock can be moved within a TMA. The MCA for Hawke’s Bay was expanded on 1 March 2020 to prevent the spread of TB into other areas. It affects about 570 farms in the area between the Tutaekuri and Mohaka rivers.

Expanding the MCA is a temporary measure. It will be relaxed as disease management clears infection and restores TB-free status to the region.

If your farm is within the MCA, you need to know that:

  • cattle and deer over 3 months of age will need a clear TB test at least 60 days within moving off your farm
  • cattle and deer moving direct to slaughter do not need to be TB tested
  • animals moving within the MCA to a piece of land you lawfully occupy do not need a pre-movement test unless there’s a different herd with a different herd number on the destination property already.

If you intend to move or sell your animals, you need to book a pre-movement TB test for them first. You need to make this booking at least 14 days before you plan to move the animals. You can book a pre-movement TB test online, or by calling our Contact Centre on 0800 482 463.

TB testing in Hawke’s Bay

We have an annual TB testing programme already in place for Hawke’s Bay. You don't need to book a test with us — we’ll contact you to organise testing.

How TB testing works

To TB test an animal, a small dose of purified proteins from TB bacteria (called tuberculin) is injected into the skin. If an animal has been exposed to TB, we'll see localised swelling at the injection site. This is a sign that TB could be present, which a blood test can confirm. If we need to do a blood test:

  • blood will be taken from animals with a TB positive skin test 10 to 30 days after the read day of the skin test
  • blood test results will be made available the following week
  • any blood test positive animals will be valued, and OSPRI will organise their transport and slaughter for you
  • the herd status will be suspended
  • a post-mortem inspection for TB will be done at slaughter
  • any TB lesions found in the post-mortem will undergo initial lab testing
  • samples of lymph nodes may be taken for more in-depth testing
  • initial lab results from TB lesions will be available after 1-2 weeks, but it will take 42-90 days to get the results of any in-depth testing of TB lesions and lymph nodes
  • a final diagnosis will be made when in-depth results are available — final culture results can take up to 90 days.

If your herd does have a positive blood test, we’re here to help. Your OSPRI case management team can talk you through selling your animal, and organise transport and slaughter arrangements to clear infection from your herd.

Pest control

We have a programme of aerial and ground pest control operations, and wildlife surveillance in place for Hawke's Bay. We publish notices for each region that describe:

  • any possum control or wildlife survey work we have planned for the coming year
  • a forward view of further work that will be needed to eradicate TB in the area.

Status of operations 2020-2021

Enter your address in the map below to see the status of pest control operations in your area.

Getting support

The health, wellbeing and welfare of farmers is our top priority. We’re working with Hawke's Bay farmers who have infected herds to implement farm-specific TB management plans, with the aim of returning each herd to TB-free status as soon as possible.

For some farmers, a TB infection puts extra strain on farm management. We've gathered together some information and resources to help farmers who may need extra support while dealing with a TB outbreak in their herd.

Hunting in the Hawke’s Bay area

Warning signs will be placed at all main access points to aerial pest control areas that are part of the Hawke’s Bay TB programme. All land users, including hunters, must follow the cautions on these signs.

Individual aerial pest control operations each have an associated TB control operation notice. The notices provide instructions to ensure the safety of anyone using land within pest control areas.

For more information on the access permissions and permits needed to hunt in the Hawke’s Bay region, contact:

  • your local Department of Conservation (DOC) office
  • the owner of any private property or leasehold you would like access to.

Further reading

You'll find more information on TB and pest control in the publications and resources section of our site.