by John Veysey of Coromandel
At present there are eighteen bovine TB-infected herds in Hawkes Bay. Ospri has found a TB-infected pig on private land. The infected pig was taken from the 12,000 ha of Tataraakina C trust land. Ospri tells farmers that this find “confirms that the spread of TB in Hawkes Bay is coming through wild life and not through movement of livestock”.
BUT Ospri seems to have no logical explanation of how TB gets into a wild pig. They tell farmers that the pig can not transfer the disease to another pig nor to another animal. Ospri’s supposition is that the possum transfers the disease to cattle but for the possum to get the disease from the pig it must eat the meat from a dead pig which has died from the infection.
For decades Ospri and its predecessor, TB-Free NZ, have failed to establish how possums gain infection from cattle or how the disease is transferred back again from the possum to the cow. Ospri’s idea of transfer from a pig depends on a “carnivorous” possum. Eh?