Focus on the Land
NAIT start has’em tagged ’n’ tracking
Wednesday, July 04, 2012
A PROGRAMME that traces individual cattle is now under way with the National Animal Identification and Tracing scheme starting on Sunday.
The scheme has drawn great interest with more than 30,000 farmers having signed up ahead of the mandatory implementation for cattle on Sunday, NAIT Ltd chief executive Russell Burnard said.
Deer join the scheme on March 1, 2013.
Total NAIT registrations are now climbing towards 35,000.
The NAIT scheme will enhance New Zealand’s ability to respond quickly to a food safety scare or a biosecurity threat, and give added confidence to trading partners, said Mr Burnard.
“We are pleased with the response from farmers and industry to date,” he said.
“The number of registrations shows a lot of people want to be ready to go from day one.
“We expect this will continue to rise as people register before moving animals.”
Sunday’s cattle implementation means farmers and industry participants have had to adopt new processes so that animals can be traced.
People in charge of cattle needed to register with NAIT, tag and register their stock, and record when animals move off-farm.
“This behaviour change will take time to achieve,” said Mr Burnard.
The introduction of cattle to the scheme marked the beginning of a transition period and NAIT is committed to working with farmers and industry to help them meet their obligations, he said.
The NAIT scheme links individual animals to the person responsible for them, and indicates their current location via the animal’s radio frequency identification device (RFID) ear tag and a central database.
As a web-based scheme it will enable animal movement information to be updated and accessed much quicker than the current paper-based system.
“NAIT has worked with industry groups and its shareholders (Beef and Lamb NZ, DairyNZ, and Deer Industry New Zealand) to implement a practical and reasonable scheme that utilises existing sector infrastructure,” Mr Burnard said.
“Our field reps have just completed a five-week nationwide roadshow, helping over 5500 farmers get up to speed on the scheme.
“We’ve also had a presence at the various field days, culminating in being one of the busiest stands at the National Field Days at Mystery Creek.
“Now the scheme is operational, NAIT Ltd’s focus in the short- term is education.
“If we identify somebody who is not NAIT-compliant, we will be letting them know and informing them what they need to do to be compliant.”
People in charge of cattle who had not yet registered with NAIT were encouraged to register online at www.nait.co.nz.
“By registering online people can avoid the last-minute rush to register over the phone.
“It’s a straightforward process and takes less than 10 minutes,” Mr Burnard said.
TRACEABULL: A calf tagged under the National Animal Identification and Tracing scheme. Picture supplied.
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