Livestock tracing scheme live

David Carter, NZ Primary Industries MinisterIt’s happened at last. Today’s the day when New Zealand’s new National Animal Identification and Tracing (NAIT) scheme goes live, which will be welcome news for meat exporters.

The new National Animal Identification and Tracing (NAIT) Act, which comes into effect today, sets out the legal framework for the collection of information on livestock, their location and movement history throughout their lifetime. It also outlines the governance arrangement and powers for the NAIT organisation.

The scheme is mandatory for cattle from 1 July 2012 and for deer on 1 March 2013.

Under the NAIT scheme, cattle and deer are tagged with an electronic NAIT-approved RFID ear tag and the NAIT database stores information about each animal’s individual RFID number, its location and the contact details of the person in charge of the animal.

Announcing the news, Primary Industries Minister David Carter says: “NAIT is an important partnership between industry and the Crown which began eight years ago in recognition of the growing need for better animal identification and tracing systems.”

The Minister is delighted that over 30,000 producers and their properties are already registered on the database, which he says is a significant step in protecting New Zealand’s farmers in the international marketplace.

“Lifetime animal traceability is an asset that New Zealand can leverage as part of its international reputation for producing food to the highest standards. It is also an opportunity for farmers to increase productivity by identifying superior animals.”

In the case of a biosecurity outbreak affecting livestock, NAIT will enable a quick and efficient response reducing the impact on the agriculture sector and the entire NZ economy.

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