Published Date: 2004-08-18 23:50:00
Subject: PRO/AH> Tuberculosis, cervids, bovines - New Zealand
Archive Number: 20040818.2290
TUBERCULOSIS, CERVIDS, BOVINES - NEW ZEALAND
A ProMED-mail post
ProMED-mail is a program of the
International Society for Infectious Diseases
Date: 18 Aug 2004
From: Pablo Nart <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Source: The New Zealand Herald, 16 Aug 2004 [edited]
Hopes for reducing bovine tuberculosis in New Zealand to around 7 cattle
herds by 2013 have suffered a set back after another outbreak in
Canterbury. The area had been about to be re-designated as free of
infection. "This occurrence casts a shadow over us doing that," said
Agriquality district disease control manager Mark Neill. "We can't do that
until we confirm the disease was brought in from outside."
Farmers fear that, if New Zealand does not reduce TB levels to below 0.2
per cent of herds by 2013, European rivals are likely to try to have the
disease used as a non-tariff trade barrier to NZ meat and dairy exports.
Environment Canterbury's bovine TB manager, Kevin Gallagher, said that the
cost of the operation, following the latest find on Banks Peninsula, could
be around NZD 50 000 [USD 33 227], but it would not blow the budget.
But Mr Neill said the cost of eradicating TB from the infected deer herd
could jeopardize the 2013 goal. If the TB organism was endemic in feral
pest populations, such as possums and ferrets, it meant a costly operation
would be required to kill whichever species was carrying the disease.
Mr Neill said that there were signs the TB was brought in with animals from
high-risk areas, which would be a relief for Agriquality workers, because
the cattle could be removed. "If we cannot rule out the fact that this
infection has come in with cattle from an infected area, there will be
considerable cost." The disease crosses from wildlife to stock more easily
than from stock to wildlife. If only the stock are infected, the possible
carriers, or "vectors," such as possums and ferrets, are unlikely to be
carrying the disease
[Tuberculosis is caused by the bacterium _Mycobacterium bovis_. It is often
referred to as bovine TB, although the same organism can infect cervids. In
New Zealand, there may be other carriers, such as the opossum and/or ferret.
This article is somewhat confusing, as it refers to cattle herds and then
to deer. Earlier, a deer farm was depopulated because of TB in the deer.
The disease may have spread from the farmed deer to the farmed cattle, or,
it may have spread through a wildlife reservoir, or, the disease may have
been imported through cattle brought to the region.
It would seem likely that the epidemiological investigation is not
complete, and they are uncertain as to where the disease originated. The
certainty is that this outbreak has caused a setback in the plans for the
area to be declared free of the disease. - Mod.TG]