You may know possums destroy native habitats in our region and threaten wildlife – but did you know they are also a major Tb vector?
A Tb vector is a wild animal that transmits Bovine tuberculosis (Tb) to farmed animals. This infectious disease is one of New Zealand’s most serious animal health problems, which puts access to beef and venison export markets at risk.
The Animal Health Board (AHB), in partnership with Horizons Regional Council, has been conducting Tb possum control operations for several years in our Region.
The results have been a successful reduction in Tb, as indicated by the number of infected cattle and deer herds. Some areas are now testing clear of the disease, showing a large reduction in the possum population.
Our aim is to continue reducing possum numbers to the point where we are satisfied we have eradicated Tb in the wildlife. We will conduct surveys of the wildlife to prove this – wild pigs as well as possums are a good indicator.
A spin-off from our Tb work is that many of the Region’s native habitats and wildlife are protected from the pesky possum.