Cattle showing goes ahead despite M bovis concerns

Rural Exchange 17/11/2018

Showing cattle has been a contentious issue around New Zealand as farmers face Mycoplasma bovis outbreaks around the country.

Many A&P shows made the decision to ban cattle from shows, despite it being an important part of rural culture. 

The New Zealand Agricultural Show (formerly Canterbury A&P Show) made the controversial decision to allow cattle at the showgrounds this past week.

But despite the loosened rules, few cattle farmers have shown up because of fears of over Mycoplasma bovis.

There were rows of empty pens and no animals, with cattle exhibitors down over 50 percent in the beef section and 75 percent down in the dairy section.

For most farmers, it is too much to lose, and cattle breeder Richard Van Asch is sympathetic.

"When it's your sole source of income with your livelihood on the line, I can understand why exhibitors would stay away," he told RadioLIVE.

Long-time cattle exhibitor Jane Jenkins says she originally wasn't going to attend, but was convinced by her daughter.

"My daughter Ruby said 'we can't not go', so we got a late entry,"

"We've got everything set up here. There's going to be no contamination, no crossover," Ms Jenkins said.

"If any country can get rid of M bovis, in my opinion, I think New Zealand can do it."

Watch the full interview with Jane Jenkins 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.