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vial of blood drawn for testing for M. bovis

What is Active Surveillance?

What is Active Surveillance?

Active surveillance is a phase in the eradication programme. Farms are placed under Active Surveillance where there is a low risk that cattle on the farm have been exposed to M. bovis. 

These farms are required to undergo testing and the management groups (mobs) of cattle that might have been exposed will be tested to determine their disease status.

The risk is so low that the farms do not need to be placed under movement restrictions, however testing is necessary to ensure that there is no infection within these management groups.

Farms under Active Surveillance are not subject to legal controls, such as restrictions on moving cattle on or off-farm. You can continue farming as normal.  

Note: a farm under Active Surveillance is different to an Active Confirmed Property which is a farm that has been found to be infected with M. bovis and is under a number of strict legal controls.

When are farms placed under Active Surveillance?

A farm is placed under Active Surveillance if the risk of M. bovis infection in cattle is low.

For example the farm:

  • sent cattle to a farm which later became infected
  • neighbours an infected farm
  • received cattle from an infected farm before we believe that farm was infected.

A very small number of farms placed under Active Surveillance are found to be infected.

There’s no evidence of M. bovis spreading across farm boundaries, unless cattle have mixed or interacted.  

Active Surveillance Process

Farms placed under Active Surveillance have sampling and testing carried out to confirm the disease status of their cattle. 

The farms aren’t under any legal restrictions and can farm normally. 

Blood samples will be taken from cattle at risk of infection.

All cattle tested must be identified with a NAIT approved RFID tag.

For 40 + cattle

If each group of cattle tested contains a minimum of 40 cattle, only one negative round of testing is required to determine that M. bovis infection is absent.

If all groups test negative then testing and Active Surveillance on your property will end.

For less than 40 cattle

Groups of cattle of fewer than 40 animals require two consecutive negative rounds of testing for the Programme to determine the absence of M. bovis infection in those groups.

Blood samples collected from farms under Active Surveillance are tested using the ELISA test.

If your circumstances change (e.g. if a new infection risk, such as an animal movement is associated with your farm) your farm may re-enter the M. bovis Programme and testing may be carried out again in the future.

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Help with Mustering costs

We can help cover the cost of mustering stock for testing if it is going to cause a disruption to business as usual operations on your farm.

For more information contact: Verification and Allocation team (04) 831 2197 or email: Mbovis_verification&allocation@mpi.govt.nz

Animal welfare

Remember you're always responsible for the welfare of animals under your care. If a farm is placed under Active Surveillance or movement restrictions, your animal welfare responsibilities do not change. More information on animal welfare responsibilities.

Health and Safety

Farmer tip

It’s important to look after yourself, family and whānau, staff and neighbours as we find and fight M. bovis.

Good support networks and time with your mates can make a big difference to how you feel when dealing with things that are outside of your control.

Support is available