The spread of cattle disease Mycoplasma bovis has led to local schools dropping calf-rearing classes from its Ag and Pet Days almost unilaterally this year.
Following strong recommendations from the Ministry of Primary Industries, most schools have agreed to leave calf-rearing off the agenda, focusing instead on lambs, goats and chickens.
Although a few parents were unhappy at the news, principals says that most people accept the need to minimise the risk of spreading the disease by keeping calf movements to a minimum.
Wellsford School principal Dave Bradley says lambs and goats will replace calves and lambs at their annual Ag Day and Gala on Saturday, October 27.
It’s a similar situation at other schools in the district, from Waipu in the north to Tauhoa, Tomarata and Mangawhai Beach.
The one exception is Maungaturoto, which has opted for a technological approach, rather than cancelling the calf section entirely for its Pet Day on Friday, October 19. Students can still compete with a calf – they just have to leave it at home, according to the school newsletter.
“Children will train their calf as usual, however calves will not come to school. Children will be given a brief to complete a video, which will be judged by a panel.”
Pets on Parade dates
Waipu School Ag Day – Wednesday, October 17
Tomarata Show Day – Friday, October 19
Maungaturoto Pet Day – Friday, October 19
Mangawhai Beach Ag & Gala Day – Saturday, October 20
Tauhoa Ag Day – Saturday, October 20
Wellsford Ag Day & Gala – Saturday, October 27