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Beef + Lamb New Zealand encourages farmers to have their say

Beef + Lamb New Zealand (B+LNZ) is encouraging farmers to have their say on the Ministry for Primary Industries’ (MPI) consultation on how to improve the National Animal Identification and Tracing (NAIT) scheme.

B+LNZ’s CEO Sam McIvor says that sheep and beef farmers know improvements to New Zealand’s animal traceability systems need to be made and it’s important that farmers make sure that any changes deliver benefits and are workable on farm.

“We’re all aware that changes need to be made to NAIT and while Beef + Lamb New Zealand is supportive of many of the proposals being consulted on, any changes must be practical for farmers to implement.”

An example of this is MPI’s interest in whether other species - for instance sheep - should be included in the scheme, and B+LNZ is urging caution on this.

“Beef + Lamb New Zealand and farmers want to see improved traceability systems for all livestock, and we’ve been advocating for this for some time. The NAIT scheme has been designed to allow the inclusion of other species at different levels, recognising that individual eartagging is not the most appropriate way to include all species, for example sheep.

“The important thing in a biosecurity emergency is to rapidly understand where livestock farms are and which ones have been moving stock to each other. Making Animal Status Declarations (ASDs), which farmers already use for all movements, electronic (eASDs) would deliver a similar benefit,” says Mr McIvor.

B+LNZ will be developing advice on the proposals to assist farmers in writing their own submissions. The organisation will also survey farmers to help inform B+LNZ’s own submission on the NAIT consultation.

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