Farmers improve NAIT biosecurity practice

Damien O'Connor, Minister of Agriculture
Damien O'Connor.

Beef farmers are among those upping their on-farm biosecurity by making greater use of the National Animal Identification and Tracing (NAIT) scheme, says Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor.

Speaking with farmers at the New Zealand Agricultural Show in Canterbury this week, O’Connor said biosecurity was front of mind.

“The Government has been making changes to ensure NAIT is easier to use and a more effective biosecurity tool following its poor performance during the Mycoplasma bovis outbreak,” Damien O’Connor said.

“While hundreds of warning letters and more than 70 fines have been issued for those breaking the rules, thousands of farmers have upped their game.

“Feet on the ground matter and about 30 NAIT compliance staff are in the field or completing training over the next month to help farmers use NAIT consistently.

“While they will chiefly offer a hand to those who need help to meet their obligations, they will be penalising those breaking the rules.

“More and more I’m hearing that the dairy and beef industries want those in the sector who are blatantly disregarding the rules to be dealt with swiftly and firmly.

“I want to thank everyone who has improved their record keeping on farm and encourage them to continue to use NAIT consistently as not just a biosecurity tool, but an essential part of business.

The Minister also thanked those helping to strengthen the NAIT system by having their say on the Ministry of Primary Industries’ regulatory consultation.  

Biosecurity New Zealand was also checking that all stock at the show were NAIT compliant.

NAIT Summary
As at 4 November 2018

NAIT Compliance Activity Total
OSPRI Compliance warning letters to farmers 503
On farm checks for NAIT by MPI Verification Services 992
On farm checks for NAIT by MPI Animal Welfare Compliance 327
NAIT Notices of Direction issued – by Compliance 38
NAIT Infringements Issued 73

Most NAIT Notices of Direction were issued in relation to unrecorded movements of animals, and animals that were neither tagged nor registered within the NAIT system.

The majority of NAIT infringements issued were for failing to record the movement of NAIT animals.

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