OSPRI is inviting feedback on proposed possum control operations for the TBfree disease management programme.
The programme is on track to eradicate bovine TB from New Zealand by 2055, with key milestones of TB eradication from cattle and deer by 2026 and from possums by 2040. Good progress has been made to date with only 25 infected herds at June 2019, down from a peak of about 1700 infected herds in the mid-1990s.
Control of possums, acknowledged as the main carrier of TB between wildlife and farmed cattle and deer, is a key component of the eradication plan to prevent the infection of livestock. The 2020 programme includes 11 aerial operations alongside continuing ground-based possum control and survey operations.
This essential work controls possum numbers to stop TB cycling in wildlife and posing a threat for New Zealand’s primary industries that produce the dairy and meat products at the heart of our exporting economy. OSPRI consults about its operations at a national, regional and local level to provide opportunities for people and organisations to see what’s planned and identify whether they need further information.
OSPRI Chief Executive Stephen Stuart says, “This consultation process enables anyone interested in or affected by TBfree possum control operations to find out, offer feedback, raise questions and comments. We’re keen to hear about anything that may need further explanation or adjustment.’
Well before any operation begins, landowners, farmers and anyone who accesses the land affected by operations will also receive specific and detailed notice of proposed operations from OSPRI contractors. Public notification is published in news media and clear signage at access points to operational areas.
The consultation period runs until 30 September 2019 and there are a number of ways to make a submission, including writing to OSPRI, calling or making submission through the online submission form. OSPRI will be inviting stakeholders such as national and regional interest groups, to meet and discuss the document in detail and address any questions.
The consultation document and details about how to make a submission are available online.