Massey University is investigating whether the dairy industry has the potential to drive a new class of beef product by rearing bobby calves that would usually be sent to slaughter.
Project leader Dr Nicola Schreurs says the research has the potential to spawn a brand new beef industry that will phase out the slaughter of bobby calves.
The project, aptly named New Generation Beef, would have a great positive effect on the public perception of wasted livestock in the dairy industry.
The bobby calves would be taken to slaughter 1-2 years younger than the average slaughter age in NZ for a weaned calf.
Massey University is currently running a pilot trial with 80 bobby calves taken from dairy farms in August last year.
They’re looking to take them to slaughter at four intervals between April and August this year.
Dr Schreurs admitted that a lot is unknown going into the slaughter, but says that because of the smaller carcass and age of the animals, the meat product should be more tender and sought after than regular beef products.
Listen to the full interview with Dr Nicola Schreurs above.