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DairyNZ Urges Farmers Prepare For Animal Tracing Scheme

Tuesday 3 April 2012

Dairynz Urges Farmers To Prepare Early For Animal Tracing Scheme

Dairy farmers are being urged to prepare early for the introduction of a new animal identification and tracing scheme, especially if they’re planning stock movements over the winter period.

The recently adopted NAIT legislation (National Animal Identification and Tracing) introduces new obligations for farmers under the scheme from July 1 this year.

After this date, all cattle being moved will need to be wearing a NAIT approved electronic tag. Anyone in charge of animals and animal movements will need to be registered with NAIT.

DairyNZ policy manager Elizabeth Dixon is encouraging farmers to prepare early for NAIT.

“We’re conscious that dairy farmers are busy people, and while we know a lot of dairy farmers are already ahead of the game with tags in place, we’re keen to make sure no one is caught out by the introduction of the new obligations in July. NAIT is already open for registrations and it’s a good opportunity to beat the rush.

“We also want farmers to be thinking ahead – if farmers plan to send cattle out for winter grazing for example, it might be easier and more comfortable for their stock to be tagged before they leave the farm, and it might avoid any confusion further down the track whose responsibility it is to put tags in.”

DairyNZ has been a supporter of the animal tracing legislation on the proviso that it does not become too costly or cumbersome for farmers.

“Clearly there are some considerable advantages for the reputation and protection of New Zealand’s dairy industry from a robust animal traceability regime. The integrity of our biosecurity system is absolutely crucial and NAIT provides a major safeguard.

“As well, increasingly around the world, consumers want to know more about the source of their food. Lifetime traceability of animals is a key part of addressing this desire for more information. Given the New Zealand dairy industry is such a major exporter, it is essential that we keep up with our major competitors in this field with the introduction of an internationally robust traceability system,” says Elizabeth Dixon.

Farmers can register for their NAIT on line at www.nait.co.nz or by phoning the NAIT organisation at 0800 624 843. Alternatively dairy farmers can also phone DairyNZ on 0800 4 DairyNZ (0800 4 324 7969) for further information.

ENDS

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