Operations taking place in areas where no vector control has taken place previously. These typically aim to reduce vector numbers as quickly as possible, to very low levels. For possum control operations, the aerial application of 1080 is often the preferred initial control method.
Operations that take place as follow-up to initial control. These typically aim to maintain the low level of vector numbers, and may be undertaken annually. Maintenance control is vital because, if vector numbers are kept at very low levels, it is anticipated the disease will die out in that area.
Vector control operations that primarily aim to stop the spread of TB vector populations from Vector Risk Areas to Vector Free Areas. These operations are important because there are many areas in New Zealand, such as Northland, where bovine TB has not established in the local possum or ferret population.
Monitoring that takes place after an initial or maintenance operation. Monitors set a required number of lines of traps throughout the operational area at random, and the traps are checked after each of three fine nights in a row. The trap catch result provides a measure of residual vector numbers, and hence the success of the operation. Vector contractors only get paid after a successful post-operational result.
Monitoring that takes place before an initial or maintenance operation. The methodology used is the same as for post-operational monitoring, but instead the information is used to determine whether vector control is necessary at all. This monitoring helps ensure the AHB only funds vector control where it is really needed, guaranteeing maximum cost-efficiency and effectiveness.