Farmers improve biosecurity practice
Farmers are upping their on-farm biosecurity by making greater use of the National Animal Identification and Tracing scheme, Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor said.
Speaking with farmers at the New Zealand Agricultural Show in Canterbury over the past two days, Mr O’Connor said biosecurity was front of mind.
“The Government has been making changes to ensure NAIT is easier to use and a more effective biosecurity tool following its poor performance during the Mycoplasma bovis outbreak,” Damien O’Connor said.
“While hundreds of warning letters and more than 70 fines have been issued for those breaking the rules, thousands of farmers have upped their game.
“Feet on the ground matter and about 30 NAIT compliance staff are in the field or completing training over the next month to help farmers use NAIT consistently.
“While they will chiefly offer a hand to those who need help to meet their obligations, they will be penalising those breaking the rules.
“More and more I’m hearing that the dairy and beef industries want those in the sector who are blatantly disregarding the rules to be dealt with swiftly and firmly.
“I want to thank everyone who has improved their record keeping on farm and encourage them to continue to use NAIT consistently as not just a biosecurity tool, but an essential part of business.
“I also thank those helping strengthen the NAIT system by having their say on MPI’s regulatory consultation – drop into the stand if you have questions,” Damien O’Connor said.
Biosecurity New Zealand is checking that all stock at the show are NAIT compliant.
Note to editors:
Of the 32 staff in the NAIT Compliance team there are:
- 2 for Legal Services
- 6 Chief Compliance Officers
- 21 NAIT Officers
- 3 Analyst and Coordinators
- Whangarei – 1 Chief and 4 NAIT Officers
- Hamilton – 1 NAIT Officer
- Tauranga – 1 Chief and 3 NAIT Officers
- Gisborne – 1 Chief and 1 NAIT Officer (vacant)
- Napier – 1 NAIT Officer
- Masterton – 1 NAIT Officer
- Whanganui – 2 NAIT Officers (1 vacant)
- Palmerston North – 1 Chief and 2 NAIT Officers
- Nelson – 1 NAIT Officer
- Christchurch – 1 Chief and 1 NAIT Officer
- Timaru – 1 NAIT Officer
- Dunedin – 1 Chief and 2 NAIT Officers (1 vacant)
- Invercargill – 1 NAIT Officer
Analysis and Coordination
- Christchurch – 2 Analyst and Coordinators
- Hamilton – 1 Analyst and Coordinator
Further recruitment for Whanganui, Gisborne and Dunedin is planned for later this year.