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Published: 2002-09-13 00:00:00

The number of bovine Tb infected herds in the Waikato has dropped 33 percent over the past year, Environment Waikato’s Biosecurity Committee heard this week.

In a report on Tb control in the Waikato, the Region had reduced the number of infected herds faster than the Animal Health Board’s predictions, reduced expenditure on Tb control and providing a positive result for both farming and the regional economy.

Biosecurity Group Manager John Simmons said chronically infected herds in the Region had dropped from 24 to seven. The results were particularly good in the north and west Taupo areas where major improvements were made on last year. Since the end of June the seven herds which were on movement control had achieved clear status.

The Region had 251 infected herds in 1996 and now had only 34 at the end of June.

“The reality is that to achieve freedom from Tb we need to get down to four infected herds, which we hope to achieve by 2010. There has been $10 million of regional funding invested over the last 10 years and we are starting to see real dividends.”

He said the role of 1080 in achieving the results could not be underestimated. Chairman Helen Lane said the benefits from the gains were very significant to the Waikato, and New Zealand.