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Focus on wipe out

Tevita Vuibau
Thursday, January 09, 2014

WITH the fight against brucellosis yielding successful results, the Agriculture Ministry has moved into the eradication phase of the fight which is expected to last five years.

In an interview with Radio Australia, Agriculture Ministry principal veterinary officer Dr Stephen Angus said the campaign to eliminate brucellosis from the cattle population was going well.

But he said the eradication phase had problems associated with the number of brucellosis cases being so low.

"Now we've managed to control the disease, we now move into the eradication phase, and that is expected to take another five years.

"This means the comprehensive testing of all cattle within Fiji," he said.

"It's an irony that we have been so successful at controlling the disease, it now becomes incredibly difficult to find it."

Dr Angus said the number of cases was down to a fraction of 1 per cent.

"I took over the campaign in May 2012, so I've actually been running it for 18 months," he said.

"In the previous four or five years unfortunately the disease was going in the other direction, and it peaked at about 3 per cent of our dairy herd. It's mostly affecting the dairy industry and since then we've been working extremely hard at improving our diagnostic capabilities and improving our testing campaigns."

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