MAF declares New Zealand a Controlled Area

22 August 1996

The Ministry of Agriculture has declared the whole of New Zealand, but excluding Arapawa Island, to be a controlled area to enable the limitation of the spread of true hydatids (Echinococcus granulosus).

The notice has been made pursuant to section 131 of the Biosecurity Act 1993. It comes into effect today (Thursday, August 22).

The Ministry has put this measure in place to ensure that controls (listed below) can be enforced. A national eradication campaign for true hydatids began in 1959 and has been carried out under the Dog Control and Hydatids Act 1982 until June 30 this year. A national pest management strategy for true hydatids was to have been in place from July 1, however, the strategy cannot be fully enforced until the Biosecurity Act Amendment Bill No4 is passed. This notice fills that gap until the amendment is in effect, and will ensure that the success of the true hydatids eradication programme is maintained.

Arapawa Island is excluded from this notice because the area has been declared a controlled area since March 1 this year. Extra controls on the movement of animals on that island are in place following the finding of the first fertile cyst in New Zealand for several years in a sheep from the area. The delay between findings supports the view that true hydatids is almost eradicated in New Zealand.

The Ministry of Agriculture is developing the True Hydatids National Pest Management Strategy with the Ministry of Health. In people, true hydatids can cause severe liver damage and even death, whereas in animals, it passes between its hosts (commonly, sheep and dogs), without causing ill health in either animal.

The following controls will be enforced:

  1. All ruminants and pigs to be slaughtered in home killing facilities in the controlled area may only be slaughtered if those facilities are located within a dog-proof enclosure in order to ensure that raw offal is not accessible to dogs.
  2. Dogs within the controlled area shall not be fed offal of sheep, cattle, pigs and goats unless that offal is first cooked by boiling for a minimum of 30 minutes.
  3.  Dogs within the controlled area shall not be allowed access to dead livestock.
  4. Dogs within the controlled area shall not be allowed access to the raw offal of feral ruminants killed in the controlled area.
  5. All landowners within the controlled area are responsible for controlling their livestock and preventing them from straying onto neighbouring properties.

(Note: Home killing facilities do not include any premises licensed under the Meat Act 1981, but includes on-farm facilities by itinerant slaughterman.)

For further information, contact either:

Barry O’Neil, Chief Veterinary Officer
MAF Regulatory Authority
Tel: 04 4744100

Sue Cotton, Policy Coordination national manager
MAF Regulatory Authority
Tel: 04 4744100



Last Updated: 08 September 2010

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