Organisers have made the tough decision to drop an annual dairy heifer competition to avoid the risk of spreading the bacterial infection Mycoplasma bovis.

Usually the Royal Agricultural Society runs yearly dairy heifer competitions in Southland, Otago and Canterbury throughout the months of March and April, but they will not be held this year.
It’ll be the first time in 25 years the competition won’t run, usually with up to 6,500 heifers entering into regional competitions each year.

The decision to not hold the competition was made to protect farms from possible infection.
The first dairy property in Southland to have the disease was identified in December last year. From there on the bacterial infection has been found and confirmed at 24 properties, with three Southern Centre Dairy properties in Winton. The disease has also spread to properties in Lumsden, Invercargill, and Gore.

You can stay up to date about the disease through the MPI or the The New Zealand Veterinary Association (NZVA).