Tuesday, 04 September 2018 14:03

M. bovis hits beef feedlot

Written by  Nigel Mathus
ANZCO’s Five Star Beef feedlot on the coast at Wakanui near Ashburton. SUPPLIED/ANZCO ANZCO’s Five Star Beef feedlot on the coast at Wakanui near Ashburton. SUPPLIED/ANZCO

New Zealand's only large-scale beef feedlot has confirmed a Mycoplasma bovis infection.

ANZCO’s Five Star Beef feedlot, on the coast at Wakanui, near Ashburton, is now under a restricted place notice. The disease has been confirmed in “a large number” of a single mob of 44 animals, ANZCO general manager, agriculture and livestock, Grant Bunting told Rural News.

The confirmation came a few days after ANZCO revealed that the farm was under a notice of direction (NOD), usually issued to restrict movements on- and off-farm while test results are pending.

Bunting agrees it may only have been a matter of time before the farm got M.bovis, given its business model and the high numbers of animals it handles.

“It’s not as though anyone’s been able to tell us what cattle not to buy,” he says.

Bunting says Five Star will work with MPI to manage the infection. He sees no chance of it infecting more farms because all its animals go to slaughter. 

The 44 deemed infected are quarantined and all in one pen, but may go to slaughter earlier than usual.

Bunting says Five Star will take instruction on whether they can simply disinfect that pen while continuing to operate the rest of the feedlot as usual.

“Transmission rates will largely dictate the direction we are required to follow. We are an intensive operation so our risk will obviously be higher,” he told Rural News.

Five Star buys in conventionally pasture-raised 18 to 20-month-old cattle and then finishes them for up to 90 days on rations, about 50% grain and 50% forage-based.

The system gives product consistency to the beef, marketed as ‘grain-finished’. 

“From a product perspective you end up with a bit more control over what you deliver,” Bunting says.

The Wakanui brand grain-finished beef is available in many NZ supermarkets. However, 95% of it is exported and the feedlot accounts for only 10% of the total ANZCO beef kill.

Five Star Beef has operated on the site since 1991. It now has about 16,000 animals and consents for up to 19,000.

More like this

Lockdowns and look back

As we emerge from another round of lockdowns that resulted in the cancellation of the Northland Field Days and the NZ Horse of the Year Show, it’s worth remembering that rural communities have a history of dealing with incursions, disasters and diseases, such as the current battle with Mycoplasma bovis.

M.bovis review a chance to learn

Ministry for Primary Industries director general Ray Smith says his organisation absolutely supports a review into the handling of the Mycoplasma bovis outbreak.

Farmer fined for bovis breach

Failure to follow directives not to move stock because of the Mycoplasma bovis threat and breaking NAIT rules has landed a South Canterbury farmer with a $21,000 fine.

Programme to take beef into future

Beef + Lamb New Zealand Genetics is launching a beef programme, which it says is designed to generate more income for beef producers and the economy while also protecting the environment.

National

Health Hub returns

The Health and Wellbeing Hub is back at Fieldays this year, focusing on the importance of rural health and providing…

Machinery & Products

Lady muck really does suck

As anyone will attest to – if they’re married to someone with horses, have kids with ponies or are foolish…

The perfect workhorse

Hastings-based Kleer Contractors provides 24-hour machine work and labour for a local food processing plant.

All-new Claas Disco arrives

The Claas Harvest Centre display at Mystery Creek will include the public debut of the all-new CLAAS Disco 10 series…

» The RNG Weather Report

» Latest Print Issues Online

The Hound

Cracked China

OPINION: Your old mate reckons Fonterra and its dairy farmer shareholders may well be all cock-a-hoop about the prospects of…

Seriously?

OPINION: The Hound hears that government department MBIE is apparently working on a 'NZ Battery Project' to try and find…

» Connect with Rural News

» eNewsletter

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter