Home' Advocate Communications : Fiordland Advocate 29 May 2009 Contents 29 May, 2009 | Page 3
Te Anau photographer Graham Dainty took this stunning photograph
recently of Te Anau pilot Rod Hall-Jones (with passenger Bernard Sinclair)
flying his biplane over Lake Manapouri. The plane, a Spartan, is the only
one of its type left in the world. Mr Hall-Jones was enjoying one of the last
flights in the biplane before winter takes hold.
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From Page 1
Mr Taylor said that nine years ago
1700 cattle and deer herds in New
Zealand were infected with bovine Tb.
Today the total was about 100.
“The programme is delivering results
and we’re disappointed to think
that regions, for whatever reason,
are choosing to abandon it when
there’s been demonstrated proof of
Funding for the Tb control programme
is shared between industry, the
government and regional authorities.
Farmers, through stock levies or
industry contributions, meet 40
percent, the government pays 50
percent and regional councils make up
the final 10 percent. All of the funding
goes for allocation to the national
programme with the exception of
the 10 percent regional contribution
which is spent in the region where it is
Until now regional councils have
been contracted by the Animal Health
Board to administer the vector control
programme in their areas. However,
about 18 months ago the board
indicated it would take that role back.
Environment Southland senior
biosecurity officer Dave Burgess said
that led to the council deciding that
if it wasn’t going to be involved in
managing the programme it would
instead look at putting those resources
(the 10 percent share) into a self-help
possum control programme.
“The Animal Health Board programme
has been winding down for the past
five years as they meet their Tb
objectives, which means there’s less
possum control done in Southland.
Environment Southland just really
wants to protect the work that’s been
done to date and try and keep possum
numbers at a low level,” he said.
But Mr Taylor said if the regional
council withdrew its 10 percent
contribution, the government would
also cut its Tb control spend in the
region by 10 percent. It could mean
that the $4 million being spent
on Tb control in Southland would
immediately be cut by almost a
There was also a risk that the Animal
Health Board itself might reassess its
While Environment Southland would
retain a focus on reducing possum
numbers, it wouldn’t be targeting
possum populations known to carry
Tb, Mr Taylor said. He also noted that
the council’s plan made no mention of
ferrets, also carriers of Tb.
“Ferrets can be even more serious
because they travel a long way
further,” he said.
Mr Burgess acknowledged the issue
was “a political hot potato”.
“It’s sort of been portrayed that we’re
just opting out of Tb control altogether.
To a degree we are but we also want to
protect and keep the possum numbers
low throughout much of Southland,”
“The Animal Health Board is solely
focussed on Tb. We want to direct the
resources to maintain low possum
numbers and that will have a Tb spin-
off but not as directly as the Animal
Health Board’s programme.”
The Tb vector control programme would
still operate but without Environment
Southland’s contribution “perhaps not
as big as what it normally would be,”
Mr Burgess said.
Submissions on Environment
Southland’s long-term plan closed
last week. Mr Taylor said farmers were
determined to fight vigorously to ensure
the proposal wasn’t adopted – either
here or anywhere else in the country.
“No other regional councils have
withdrawn from the scheme at present.
There certainly have been some that
have spoken about it,” he said.
If, in another five years, no more herds
had been infected in Southland and
the Animal Health Board was reducing
its possum control in the region, then
farmers would likely support the model
Environment Southland was proposing.
Until such a time the Tb focus needed
to be maintained, Mr Taylor said.
“I haven’t yet given up hope of being
able to get a change of heart in
Farmers angry at shift
away from Tb control
It’s just plane beautiful
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