[22 June/The Country]

Traditional pet days at rural schools could be banned until the threat of Mycoplasma bovis is removed. Federated Farmers is asking schools to exclude all breeds of calves from their 2018 Ag Day programmes to reduce the risk of infection being transmitted between calves being transported to schools. Lambs, goats and other family pets could still be part of programmes. Paengaroa School Principal, Bruce Lendrem, said the Te Puke Agriculture Club would meet to discuss the matter as pet days were an important part of rural school life and included indoor and outdoor pet exhibits. They could still include all other animals except calves. Kaharoa School Acting Principal, Rose Powley, said the school had already decided not to have calves at pet day as it was the right thing to do.