Tuesday, 11 September 2018 11:55

Cattle to parade Canterbury show

Written by  Nigel Malthus
Visitors will see cattle but no calves at this year’s show. Visitors will see cattle but no calves at this year’s show.

New Zealand's biggest annual A&P show will go ahead with cattle classes on November 14 - 16 despite the threat of spreading Mycoplasma bovis.

But there will be no calf classes, and new measures will be taken to prevent infection spreading at the New Zealand Agricultural Show.

The Canterbury A&P Association (CAPA) has released a list of protocols to bolster biosecurity for the show. Junior classes will be on, but only with yearling animals, not calves.

Even the simple act of the judges draping the winners’ ribbons over winning cattle is to be banned. Instead, they will pass the ribbons to their handlers, and they will be banned from touching animals’ heads or muzzles.

Other measures in the show ring include a strict 2m space between parading animals and a one-way traffic system between the ring and the cattle pavilion.

In the pavilion, empty pens and plywood panels will create buffers and barriers between animals from different herds. There will be separate dairy and beef washing bays, each run on a roster system and rigorously disinfected.

Extra staff will be on hand to manage cattle, with strict requirements for proper paperwork and no late entries accepted.

The show vice-president, North Canterbury cattle breeder Chris Herbert, said there had been no known infections from nose-to-nose contact between neighbouring herds so the actual risk of transmission was extremely low.

The new protocols are to give exhibitors confidence to attend.

“I’ve had exhibitors ring me since that information went out and they’ve said ‘we weren’t planning on coming but if you’re going to put these protocols in place, actually it will be OK. We will come’.”

The banned calf classes usually attracted only 10 - 15 entries. Herbert said they were often hand-reared pets and lifestylers’ animals, and it was “just too hard” to be sure of their histories. 

Beef cows with calves at foot will be allowed.

Herbert said he does not expect cattle numbers this year to “break any records” but Canterbury is usually NZ’s biggest cattle show and he expects that to hold good.

Entries are now open.

 

More like this

MPI promises to act on M. bovis programme

Almost all the recommendations from two reviews of the Mycoplasma bovis programme have been accepted, after the ‘surge in activity’ leading up to this year’s moving day.

$100m for what?

Farmers pay nearly $100 million a year in levies to industry-good groups, says Federated Farmers Dairy chairman Chris Lewis. And for what value? he asks.

Vet gets top gong

Oamaru vet Dr Merlyn Hay, who in 2017 outed Mycoplasma bovis on an Oamaru dairy farm, won the premier award at the Feds conference.

M. bovis doesn’t get worse than this

The chair of the Mycoplasma bovis strategic advisory group, MPI’s chief science adviser Dr John Roche, says he wouldn’t wish the disease on his worst enemy.

 
 

» Latest Print Issues Online

Milking It

No tea, we’re vegan

UK vegans are demanding a law change to ban discrimination against plant-based eaters in workplaces.

Fake cows

Even more fibreglass cows may join those seen ‘grazing’ Morrinsville streets for four years.

» Connect with Dairy News