Measures are being introduced to help Hawke’s Bay farmers battling the effects of Cyclone Gabrielle and needing to move cattle or deer from TB movement control areas.
Mark Neill, TBfree’s chief adviser for disease planning and integration, said given the pressure on farmers and animals and the loss of fences and handling facilities, they have tried to find ways to accommodate those needing to quit or move cattle and deer from movement control areas.
He said those within these areas needing to shift stock that cannot be tested before moving, can apply for a permit to test those animals for TB within 60 days of moving instead of 60 days before doing so.
For those without a clear TB status, Neill said, TBfree is aware of the welfare concerns for both animals and farmers and while options are more limited for these farmers needing to quit stock, they will work through options on a case-by-case basis to mitigate risk.
He said there are options other than sending these animals to slaughter, such as quarantining and isolating stock on the receiving farm.
As of March 1 there are eight infected herds in Hawke’s Bay, three herds with one clear test, 34 herds cleared of infection and four herds being investigated.
Neill urged those farmers needing advice or options to contact the TBfree support centre on 0800482463.