A new educational resource looking at how New Zealand tackled bovine tuberculosis has been developed by the country’s Animal Health Board.
“Making TB History” takes an in-depth look at New Zealand’s history of TB through the eyes of farmers, vets and TB testers working on the front line of disease control.
The resource includes a collection of personal accounts prsenting in words, pictures and a series of short videos examining the financial and emotional impact of the disease on rural communities and the efforts to bring the disease under control.
At its peak in the mid-1990s, TB was a serious threat to New Zealand’s access to premium beef, deer and dairy export markets worth more than $12bn a year.
Many farming families found themselves close to breaking point and some were forced to leave the industry, according to Alan Dicks, communications adviser at the Animal Health Board.
Government and farmers joined to form the Animal Health Board to focus solely on controlling bovine TB with the TBfree New Zealand Programme. Although infected herd numbers are at an all-time low, the disease is still a risk to deer and cattle herds in about 40% of New Zealand.
The resources serve as reminder to farmers in New Zealand not to become complacent, while offering an insight to UK farmers how other countries have tackled TB.
Read more about New Zealand’s TB control policy here.
The video below gives an insigt into TB control in New Zealand.