4 May 2021

Waitako farm chief executive fined after failing to register animals

9:05 pm on 4 May 2021

The chief executive of a large Waikato farm has been fined $3600 for failing to register livestock with the government's animal tracing programme.

Canterbury region farms

A Waikato farm has been fined for failing to register some of its animals. Photo: RNZ / Nate McKinnon

The National Animal Identification and Tracing (NAIT) scheme is used to track the movements of cattle and deer. Lax compliance with the system by some farmers was blamed for the spread of the cattle disease Mycoplasma bovis.

Lochiel Farmlands' chief executive Kim Robinson was sentenced in Pukekohe District Court on Monday for not registering 820 animals, which were moved to meatworks in early 2019.

The farm manages about 3000 cattle, mainly as a breeder and finisher of stock.

Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) spokesperson Brendon Mikkelsen said the NAIT system was critical to respond quickly during security outbreaks.

"Despite previously being reminded of his obligations and being registered as the person in charge of the NAIT animals since 2012 at Lochiel Farmlands Limited, Mr Robinson failed to play his part to protect New Zealand's biosecurity."

MPI said Robinson's offending was found through an analysis of the NAIT database.

"Most people in charge of animals understand what is at stake and ensure they've registered NAIT animals. For those who don't, our message is that non-compliance will be found and dealt with," Mikkelsen said.

MPI encouraged those affected by the scheme to get support from farm advisers or industry organisations to uphold their NAIT responsibilities.

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