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Definition of "adult cattle" changes

Monday 6 September 2004

Definition of "adult cattle" changes

The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MAF) today announced that it had changed the definition for adult cattle under the Biosecurity (Bovine Tuberculosis – Cattle Levy) Amendment Order 2004, effectively exempting bobby calf owners a processing cost that affected about 10,000 animals last season.

The minimum weight for animals defined as “adult cattle” has now been increased from those weighing more than 27 kg to those weighing more than 40 kg, based on dressed carcass weight. This definition aligns with the definition used by Meat and Wool New Zealand for bobby calves which are exempt from levies under the Commodity Levies (Meat) Order 2004.

The reason behind the change is that, due to changes in farm and transport practices, many bobby calves are slaughtered slightly older, and correspondingly heavier, than was the case previously. Under the pest management strategy for bovine tuberculosis, animals classified as “adult cattle” are subject to a levy to pay for activities under the strategy. The current levy rate is $11.50 per animal plus GST but can be up to $15.00 plus GST. The market value of a heavier bobby calf last season was about $32.00.

The change becomes effective from 2 September 2004 to be in advance of the current bobby calf processing season.

ENDS

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