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Possums on alert as deal is signed for TB funding

Possums beware: pest control is now on its way with Minister of Agriculture, Jim Sutton announcing the signing of sector contributions to TB vector control work.

Meat New Zealand CEO Mark Jeffries, welcomes the decision and is pleased the negotiations have been completed after 18 months of debate.

" I'm glad that the process has finally been agreed upon and we can now concentrate on the important task of eradicating Bovine Tuberculosis on farms. This has on-farm production benefits and reduces concerns on non-tariff trade barriers."

The contributions from all three industries total $25.6 million and will be administered by the Animal Health Board.

The new funding process will be phased in over a period of three years. The beef industry's contribution will progressively reduce from $11.6 million during that time. The dairy industry's funding contribution will progressively increase from $12.5 million, while the deer industry's contribution will decrease from $1.5 million during the three-year phase-in period.

This arrangement for funding the process was put forward for Ministerial approval after agreement by a committee comprising of Meat New Zealand, Deer Industry New Zealand, Dairy Insight, Local Government New Zealand, Deer Farmers Association and Federated Farmers

"This is a significant positive step in pest control and progress towards a TB free status. Everyone will benefit from this in the long run", says Jeffries

The agreement will come up for review again in five years time, in line with the review of the National Pest Management Strategy.

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