MPI conducts dairy herd improvement regulatory review

Thursday, 04 October, 2018

MPI conducts dairy herd improvement regulatory review

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) is reviewing the dairy herd improvement regulatory regime for the first time since it was established in 2001. It is calling for industry submissions on how the regulatory regime can more effectively support the performance of the dairy industry.

Emma Taylor, MPI's Director of Agriculture, Marine and Plant Policy, said: "The regulatory regime contributes to the breeding of more productive dairy animals through herd testing, herd recording, animal evaluation and artificial breeding. It also has the potential to support better environmental and animal health outcomes."

She continued by stating dairy herd improvement add substantial value to New Zealand's dairy industry, estimated at around $300 million each year.

Farmers have been testing samples of milk from their dairy cattle and recording data to inform their herd management decisions for over a century, but MPI said a comprehensive, accurate and continuous supply of data is needed for the industry to achieve optimal rates of genetic gain.

"It's important the dairy herd improvement regulatory regime reflects the changing needs of the dairy industry. It's timely to look at how the regulatory settings can better support industry both now and into the future," said Taylor.

"We also want to hear from industry on the effects of changing technology and the future implications on the dairy herd improvement sector."

MPI has identified other issues which it will also review: whether the role and membership of the New Zealand Dairy Core Database Access Panel remain appropriate; how to provide for monitoring of, and reporting on, the use of core data; and improving the clarity around the requirements for certification of herd testers.

The 6-week consultation, which will end at 5 pm on 12 November 2018, gives the industry the opportunity to give their feedback and suggest possible improvements.

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