Hydatids (Echinococcus granulosus)

Hydatid is the cystic, larval stage of the tapeworm Echinococcus granulosus, Hydatid has a lifecycle similar to that of sheep measles: hydatid is found in farm livestock (including sheep) and even humans, while the adult tapeworm occurs in dogs (the parasite’s primary host). Unlike, sheep measles, hydatid is a public health issue.

After almost half a century of control efforts, the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI), declared New Zealand as being provisionally free from E. granulosus in 2002. However, control measures continue to be in place to limit the spread of the parasite should it be re-introduced into New Zealand.

The measures are listed in the Controlled Area Notice in Respect of Echinococcus granulosus (Hydatids) (Ministry for Primary Industries Notice No. 294), issued under the Biosecurity Act 1993, and published in the New Zealand Gazette, dated 28 November 2013

Some of the regulatory control measures include:

  • Offal derived from livestock must not be fed to dogs unless it has been treated by either boiling for a minimum of 30 minutes; or frozen to minus 10 degrees Celsius, or colder, and maintained at that temperature for at least 10 days;
  • Occupiers of land must dispose of, as soon as possible, dead livestock in a manner that prevents it from being accessed by dogs, including stray dogs.

You can view the complete controlled area notice at this link: www.tinyurl.com/k9bsavv