NZ Agriculture Show prepares for keeping cattle safe amid M bovis threat

Rural Exchange 21/07/2018

One of the highlights of agriculture and pastoral shows every summer is showing cattle. Young people often raise calves as pets to parade around for ribbons.

Now, this tradition may become a thing of the past.

With concerns over the spread of Mycoplasma remaining ever-present, word on the street is many A&P Show committees are opting to drop cattle from their shows.

The cattle disease continues to wreak havoc on rural communities, with 270 properties under regulatory control. With M bovis now confirmed on at least 40 farms, MPI has advised all A&P shows to take extra care around cattle.

Without cattle, what is an A&P Show?

The NZ Agriculture Show (formerly the Canterbury A&P Show) president Tim Black says that a cattle parade looks unlikely, but a full ban is not in place at this stage.

“There is fear of any touching of animals, so we’re just going to put specific plans in place…”

Planning is currently underway with the goal of having safety procedures in place to allow peace of mind for those farmers bringing cattle. Boards may be placed between breeds and all cattle, as well as showing cattle one by one are some of the ideas on the table.

Mr Black spoke recently with Minister Damien O'Connor about the issue, who remained postitive about the A&P show amid the looming biosecurity threat.

"He was very positive that if we put these plans into place, then there shouldn't be a risk."

Watch the full interview with Tim Black above.

Rural Exchange with Hamish McKay, Sarah Perriam and Richard Loe, 5-7am Saturday and Sunday on RadioLIVE with Carter’s Tyre Service. Click here for all the ways to watch and listen.