[23 August/Stuff]

New Zealand’s largest beef farming operation, Five Star Beef, has been served a notice that 44 of its 16,000 cattle could have Mycoplasma bovis. The feedlot currently houses around 16,000 cattle but has resource consent for up to 19,000 cattle. They live in pens for two to eight months before being sent to slaughter. The feedlot had been operational for 27 years and is owned by ANZCO. ANZCO is the primary supplier of grass-fed beef to McDonalds in New Zealand and their General Manager of Agriculture and Livestock, Grant Bunting, said the affected cattle were quarantined. The disease was first detected in New Zealand in July 2017, and the Government expects to order 150,000 cattle to be culled in attempting to eradicate the disease, which is harmless to humans. Five Star Beef CEO, Peter Conley, said the company was working closely with MPI to manage the impact of the disease. SAFE’s head of campaigns, Marianne Macdonald, said the feedlots raised serious animal welfare and environmental concerns.