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NAIT and Farmsonline feedback called for

12 June 2008 Media Statement

NAIT and Farmsonline feedback called for

A comprehensive animal identification and traceability system is essential for maintaining international credibility for our food exports, Agriculture Minister Jim Anderton said today.

Jim Anderton told the launch of the National Animal Identification and Tracebility initiative at Mystery Creek that overseas cases of BSE in the 1980s shocked us and rocked the meat industry.

"There were long trails of concern about food safety before those days, of course. But that was a time when food production changed forever in the minds of consumers. It was a time when food producers everywhere understood they would also have to provide high standards of certainty about our food: guarantees about the source of food; guarantees about what had happened to it along the way."

Jim Anderton said those standards meant new systems were needed to manage industry risks and reassure consumers.

"Only a system with integrity will genuinely reassure consumers - and integrity, in turn, requires a broad base of consensus and motivation by producers."

He said this year's budget allocated capital funding of nearly $2.9 million in the first year, over $4 million in the second, and further funding after that, for the NAIT system. On top of that, the government will fund 35 percent of the operating costs of the system each year.

"I again congratulate the industry on its partnership with the government over this issue. And I look forward to the future success of the national animal identification and tracking system."


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