Story: Possums

TB-infected possum

TB-infected possum

Possums in New Zealand are carriers of bovine tuberculosis (TB) and can spread the disease to other mammals such as deer and cattle. Infected possums eventually die, but can be contagious for months. In the late stage of the disease they may have large abscesses and lesions, like this one on a possum’s neck. Large amounts of TB bacteria are present in the lesions, and sick animals should not be touched.

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Reference: 10025104

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How to cite this page:

Gerard Hutching, 'Possums - TB and possum control', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 28 June 2022)

Story by Gerard Hutching, published 24 Nov 2008, updated 1 Jul 2015