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Farmers urged to read NAIT report

Farmers urged to read NAIT report

Agriculture and Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor is calling on farmers and industry to read a report reviewing the performance of the animal tracing system NAIT.

A review of NAIT started in 2016, under the previous Government, and a final report was recently given to Mr O’Connor after he asked for its completion.

The report was scheduled to be completed in March 2017.

“Given what we’ve learnt from the Mycoplasma bovis response I was concerned that this report had not been finalised and released,” Mr O’Connor said.

“The Technical Advisory Group helping with the Mycoplasma bovis response, and investigators tracing animal movements on the ground, have made it clear that the lack of accurate records for animal movements in NAIT have complicated, and slowed, response efforts.”

Mr O’Connor said the NAIT report raised several issues: a lack of up-to-date information on cattle location; the need for enforcement, which had been non-existent for people failing to use the system; inconsistencies across data sets because of multiple farm IDs; the need for more resources to operate NAIT; a lack of appreciation regarding the need for a tracing system despite New Zealand’s high economic dependence on cattle; and that NAIT was behind systems used internationally, especially Australia.

“The report says that a lack of, or inaccurate, animal movement data leads to time consuming interviews during a biosecurity response.

“The report includes a summary of performance statistics showing the poor uptake of NAIT. I will work with the industry to make NAIT fit-for-purpose, which the previous Government did not.”

Mr O’Connor said a consultation process would start soon so farmers and industry could have their say on how to improve NAIT. “I welcome this opportunity to work with farmers and industry to improve NAIT as quickly and as thoroughly as possible.”

• Attachment:

NAIT review final report

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