Farmers' feedback sought on NAIT changes

Tuesday, 30 October, 2018

Farmers' feedback sought on NAIT changes

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) is inviting feedback on proposed changes to the National Animal Identification and Tracing Act 2012 (NAIT) and regulations.

Set up in 2012, the NAIT scheme identifies and traces cattle and deer in New Zealand. MPI's Acting Director of Biosecurity and Animal Welfare Policy, Dr Andrew Bell, said it is critical the public have confidence in its effectiveness, especially considering the recent outbreak of Mycoplasma bovis.

"Mycoplasma bovis has shown how significant and widespread the impact an outbreak of an animal disease can have on the farming sector and our rural communities," he said.

"We have also seen how important it is to have an effective system for tracing the movements of livestock, particularly during a biosecurity response.

"We need to ensure NAIT works properly and continues to do so well into the future."

The national response to the Mycoplasma bovis disease outbreak and a review released earlier this year by OSPRI, the organisation that oversees the NAIT scheme, both highlighted areas for improvement for the scheme.

Based on these findings, MPI has proposed changes to the laws that govern NAIT, including enhancing traceability of animals, improving compliance with NAIT obligations and supporting related animal legislation.

"MPI has been working with NAIT Limited to strengthen the education, compliance and enforcement of the NAIT scheme," Bell said.

"We want to hear what farmers, the industry and the wider rural community think about these proposed regulatory changes, and other suggestions people may have for improving NAIT.”

Public consultation on the proposals has opened and will end on 19 December 2018.

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