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Protecting your winter grazing business

Protecting your winter grazing business

Both graziers and those sending animals for grazing have obligations under the NAIT programme to record the movements of animals from farm to farm. It is the grazier’s responsibility to record a NAIT movement from the grazing block to the home farm for animals that have been wintered on their property.

It’s also important that the person in charge of the animals at the receiving home farm confirm with NAIT when the cattle arrive back from grazing.

This can be done through movement related notification emails that include a direct link to the NAIT system, where animal movements can be confirmed or rejected in just a few clicks. Alternatively, you can contact NAIT on 0800 624 843.

If the grazier’s property is in a Movement Control Area (MCA), they are also legally required to arrange a pre-movement bovine tuberculosis (TB) test within 60 days of shifting any animals off farm.

To find out the testing requirements of a home farm or grazing block, visit www.tbfree.co.nz/dcamap and enter the address details.

TBfree Otago Committee Chair Ross Wilson said it is important to remember that animals cannot be tested within 21 days before or after calving, so call TBfree New Zealand for advice on 0800 482 4636.

Graziers should also complete a TB risk assessment before accepting animals onto their property (see the TB risk assessment diagram attached).

Mr Wilson encourages graziers to follow these requirements to reduce any risk of TB infection in their herd.

“As part of the grazing contract, ensure you ask for the information required to make an informed decision to minimise the TB risk to your herd. Your clients can then be confident that you are responsibly protecting their investment,” said Mr Wilson.

OSPRI New Zealand, which manages the NAIT and TBfree New Zealand programmes are currently offering ‘how to’ workshops on NAIT, giving any group of 10-15 people an opportunity to up-skill themselves and provide feedback on the system. Please contact South Island Relationship Advisor Hazel Foley on 03 363 3085 to arrange a NAIT workshop in your area.

What advantage does a grazier have by recording NAIT movements?

1. Protect your business
2.
When you scan the radio frequency identification (RFID) tags of animals that move on and off your property, you have a record which could prove useful in an ownership or management dispute.

2. Identify exposure and infection early
3.
If NAIT records show that a TB-infected animal has been on the property, any exposed stock, including other clients’ herds, can be assessed quickly. Catching TB early can reduce the severity and length of the infection within herds.

3. Prove at risk animals were not on your property
4.
Keeping your NAIT records up to date may prove animals at risk of TB have not been on your property, avoiding the financial and emotional pain of movement restrictions and extra testing.

-ends-

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