IHC Calf and Rural Scheme 2018 announcement

Media release

Wednesday, 4 July 2018 at 6am

Due to the very real risk of spreading the Mycoplasma bovis disease, IHC has decided for the first time in 33 years to suspend crucial aspects of its Calf and Rural Scheme.

This includes picking up calves and organising IHC sales, simply because we cannot be part of something that puts farmers’ livelihoods at risk.

IHC has had a long and important partnership with farmers, which means together we have been able to make a real difference to the lives of people with intellectual disabilities – particularly those people living in rural communities.

We’ve spoken to many farmers, including at this year’s Fieldays, many of whom were concerned about the spread of Mycoplasma bovis.

Since the eradication programme was announced by Government, IHC has been in ongoing talks with the Ministry for Primary Industries – and based on information provided to us we have had to make some very tough decisions.

Over many years, IHC has tightened its practices – only picking up animals with National Animal Identification and Tracing (NAIT) ear tags and Animal Status Declaration (ASD) forms.

IHC National Manager Fundraising Greg Millar says despite significant improvements in these systems, the risk remains too high.

“We have determined there should neither be IHC-organised transportation of weaned calves to sales, nor IHC calf sale days,” says Greg.

“IHC looked at every possible way to keep the scheme running as is, but after deliberating with MPI we determined it was too much of a risk.

“This is an important decision and one that we have not made lightly – the Calf and Rural Scheme is a long-standing fundraising programme that is now in its 33rd year, and generates more than $1 million annually for people with intellectual disabilities.

“We have a real obligation to do what is right for New Zealand farmers, their livelihoods and long-term sustainability.

“We are keeping up to date with the latest findings, and are working to gather the best data possible, to determine how the scheme will operate in the future.”

IHC would like to encourage people who want to continue to support people with intellectual disabilities to donate and take part in our virtual calf scheme, donating $300 in lieu of a calf, by visiting www.ihc.org.nz/pledge.

“We would also like to acknowledge what a tough time this has been for farmers, and we’re making a commitment to those in rural communities around New Zealand who have supported those with intellectual disabilities over the past 33 years.

“IHC is very grateful for the ongoing support in this difficult year of the key sponsors, in particular PGG Wrightson, who has supported us from the beginning of the calf scheme.” 

ENDS

Media contact:

Jacob West
IHC Communications Advisor
027 807 7740
jacob.west@ihc.org.nz

 

About IHC

IHC was founded in 1949 by a small group of parents who wanted equal treatment from the education and health systems for their children with intellectual disabilities. The IHC of today is still striving for these same rights and is committed to principles of advocating for the rights, welfare and inclusion of all people with an intellectual disability. We support people with an intellectual disability to lead satisfying lives and have a genuine place in the community.

We work to support more than 4000 people in IDEA Services that include residential care, supported living and vocational support. We also lobby and advocate for the human rights of all people with an intellectual disability at both a national and an international level. We raise money through a number of fundraising programmes, including the long running Calf and Rural Scheme. We raise awareness of the issues facing people with intellectual disabilities through our charitable activities, including an extensive advocacy programme, a one-to-one volunteer programme and the country’s largest specialist intellectual disability library.

 
Anne Barrow was the winner of the 13-18 years’ category in the 2017-18 IHC Calf and Rural Scheme photo competition.
 

Caption: Anne Barrow was the winner of the 13-18 years’ category in the 2017-18 IHC Calf and Rural Scheme photo competition.

 

Caption: Nyla Lauridsen was the winner of the ‘7 years and under’ category in the 2017-18 IHC Calf and Rural Scheme photo competition.

 
 

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Questions and Answers on IHC’s decision

Why did IHC decide to suspend the transportation and IHC calf sales this year?

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Make a difference

IHC has a long and important partnership with farmers, which means together we have been able to make a real difference in the lives and futures of people with intellectual disabilities – particularly those living in rural communities.

Pledge Now