Take part in TSE surveillance

Incentives are available for vets and farmers who support New Zealand's surveillance programme for transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs). Find everything you need to get started.

The TSE surveillance submission form [PDF, 182 KB]

If you have questions, email TSEsurveillance@mpi.govt.nz

How to send samples and collect incentives

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Step 1: Vet prepares sample
Information on the specifications required by labs.

Euthanise the animal and follow our guide to prepare the sample.

Download the guide to preparing a TSE sample [PDF, 593 KB]

If you send the whole head rather than just the brain, MPI will deduct these amounts:

  • Cattle: $70 (plus GST) 
  • Deer: $60 (plus GST) 
  • Sheep and goats: $30 (plus GST).

Find out more

Request information on bovine brain removal from TSEsurveillance@mpi.govt.nz.

Step 2: Vet sends the sample

Find out where to send the sample and download a submission form.

Fill out the TSE surveillance submission form and submit it with the sample to any of the labs below.

Approved labs

Gribbles Veterinary Pathology
37 - 41 Carbine Road
Mt Wellington

Phone: 09 574 4701
Email: auckland.vetlab@gribbles.co.nz 


Gribbles Veterinary Pathology
5 Karewa Place

Phone: 07 850 0777
Email: hamilton.vetlab@gribbles.co.nz

New Zealand Veterinary Pathology
Corner Anglesea and Knox Streets

Phone: 07 839 1470
Fax: 07 839 1471

SVS Laboratories Limited
524 Te Rapa Road
Hamilton 3200

PO Box 10304, Te Rapa
Hamilton 3214

Phone: 07 444 5101
Fax: 07 444 5102

Palmerston North

Gribbles Veterinary Pathology
840 Tremaine Avenue

Phone: 06 356 7100
Email: palmerston.vetlab@gribbles.co.nz

New Zealand Veterinary Pathology
IVABS Building
1st Floor, Massey University
Tennant Drive

Phone: 06 353 3983
Fax: 06 353 3986


Christchurch Gribbles Veterinary Pathology
7 Halkett Street

Phone: 03 379 9484
Email: christchurch.vetlab@gribbles.co.nz

Dunedin Gribbles Veterinary Pathology
Invermay Campus
Block A, Puddle Alley

Phone: 03 489 4600
Email: dunedin.vetlab@gribbles.co.nz

Step 3: Send results to MPI and collect incentives

See where to send lab results and invoices – for farmers and vets.

Vet payment

To receive payment, the vet submitting the samples needs to email the following documents to accountspayable@mpi.govt.nz:

  • An original invoice stating:
    • Cost centre 1046
    • contact: TSE surveillance manager
    • histology number
    • farmer contact details 
    • direct credit details.
  • a fully completed TSE surveillance submission form
  • a copy of the histology report with the pathologist's signature.

Farmer payment

To make it easy, MPI will send a sample invoice to farmers, who can sign and return the invoice to MPI for payment. Samples disqualified by the lab for quality reasons won't be paid.

Send invoices to:

TSE surveillance manager
Ministry for Primary Industries
PO Box 2526
Wellington 6011

Why we need your help

MPI performs TSE surveillance to assure New Zealand's export customers that we're free from TSEs. We test brain samples from cows, sheep, goats and deer that show clinical neurological signs.

Which animals are eligible?

Our surveillance programme complies with the requirements of the World Organisation of Animal Health. In keeping with those requirements, the following animals can be tested in the absence of other obvious causes of disease.


Aged between 30 months and 9 years, with any of the following presentations:

  • Neurological signs that are progressive or do not respond to treatment.
  • Behavioural changes, or abnormalities in stance or gait that have no clear musculoskeletal origin.
  • Metabolic disorders (including downer cattle without obvious injury) that do not respond to treatment.

Sheep and goats

Aged 2 years or older and showing signs of progressive non-responsive nervous disease.


Aged 2 years or older, showing signs of:

  • progressive non-responsive nervous disease or ill-thrift
  • acute or peracute pneumonia, or aspiration pneumonia.

If your animals show these signs and you don’t have access to a vet, call our pest and disease hotline on 0800 80 99 66.

Financial incentives

MPI compensates farmers for the loss of their animals, and vets for their time and labour in taking and submitting brain samples.

Farmer incentives

  • Cattle: $250 plus GST
  • Deer: $200 plus GST
  • Sheep and goats: $100 plus GST

Vet incentives

  • Cattle: $380 plus GST
  • Deer: $250 plus GST
  • Sheep and goats: $200 plus GST

We don't accept more than 2 samples a year from any one farm. If you believe more cases should be investigated, call the pest and disease hotline on 0800 80 99 66. 

Who to contact

If you have questions about information on this page, email TSEsurveillance@mpi.govt.nz

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