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The value of the carcasses, primarily used for pelts, was not covered in the collection and processing of them. Calf hides had fallen from $100/hide to $3/hide.
Federated Farmers Mid Canterbury provincial president David Clark said it was likely there would not be a service at all.
South Island-based Lowe Corporation and Wallace Group have since ceased their collections of slink calves, effective immediately.
The Wallace Group was also considering the viability of slink lamb collections.
So far, North Island collections were continuing as normal.
“There’s a cost and a question mark about whether there’s even going to be collections this year with international markets just falling to pieces with the upheaval of covid,” Mr Clark said.
“It’s just another knock-on effect of the disruption and upheaval in the world currently.”
It was likely most farmers would compost their own slinkies (lambs), but there were some organisations going to collect calves and send them to landfill or farmers could compost them down with sawdust, he said.
“Numbers will vary on farm, casualty stock obviously you try to keep to a minimum but it is a reality,” he said.
He said bobby calves also had very little value, but Federated Farmers hoped farmers would take a long term view in supporting the bobby calf trade so the markets were kept open for when the world recovered and values recovered.
“This is just a one-year blip,” he said.
He encouraged farmers to follow best practice (disposing of any slinkies) and, where possible continue to support the bobby calf market with their surplus calves if they had no market for rearing calves into the beef industry.