NAIT improvement work is ramped up with launch of consultation

Work to strengthen New Zealand’s animal tracing system to protect our economic base and unique way of life ramps up today, Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor said.

The National Animal Identification and Tracing scheme should have worked better during the Mycoplasma bovis response and he was determined to help transform it into an easy-to-use, world-class traceability system to keep our primary sectors and economy safe, he said.

From today, everyone who has an interest in NAIT can have a say on proposed ways to strengthen it for the future.

Earlier this year the long-awaited NAIT Review found several flaws in the system and more than half of users were not recording farm-to-farm movements.

The Government instructed OSPRI to crack on with making operational changes and fixed the NAIT Act 2012 under urgency to bring its search and inspection powers in line with other Acts to ensure compliance officers can do their jobs.

“Now we need to hear from those who use NAIT every day to tell us what changes to the law will make the system both a useful business tool and effective biosecurity tool,” O’Connor said.

“At the heart of these proposals is a shared desire by the Government, farming industries and all New Zealanders to improve NAIT to keep our primary sectors safe and ensure those blatantly disregarding the rules and putting the rest of the sector at risk are penalised.”

The Ministry for Primary Industries launched the regulatory consultation this morning at a technical briefing for farming and industry stakeholders.

It looks at ways to tighten rules around handling untagged animals, improve the use of data, and align penalties with other Acts to reflect the seriousness of non-compliance with NAIT. It also discusses longer term improvements such as including other species and specifying roles for transporters and stock agents.

Read more and submit  here by 19 December .

Source: Minister of Agriculture

Author: Bob Edlin

Editor of AgScience Magazine and Editor of the AgScience Blog

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