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Mohaka Forest Pig Confirmed with TB

by 5m Editor
15 September 2010, at 9:23am

NEW ZEALAND - Annual TB testing for cattle and deer is set to continue in the Wairoa area after a recent Animal Health Board (AHB) survey in the Mohaka Forest returned one feral pig diagnosed with tuberculosis.

AHB Southern North Island regional co-ordinator Terry Hynes said that pig surveys and testing for all cattle and deer herds in the area need to remain in place until there is no further evidence of the disease in wildlife.

Mr Hynes says the AHB carries out feral pig surveys in the Hawke’s Bay region every year to determine whether there is a presence of TB.

"Pigs are considered a great indicator species as they tend to scavenge. If possums are infected, it gets passed onto pigs and they, in turn, can also infect cattle and deer, perpetuating the disease cycle," Mr Hynes said.

"TB lesions are most commonly found in pig heads. This is why we work closely with local pig hunters in designated areas and ask them to submit heads for surveying.

"The Mohaka Forest pig survey showed it is timely to remind all hunters of the dangers of introducing pigs into an area and subsequently setting up new sites of infection," Mr Hynes said.

The AHB will continue pig surveys in areas such as Mangaorapa, Te Uri, Owhaoko, Te Pohue-Tarawera and Wairoa districts where wildlife is suspected of harbouring the disease.

5m Editor