8 May 2014

Dairy firm wants restrictions removed

3:39 pm on 8 May 2014

Dairy livestock genetics company LIC is asking the Government to consider removing regulations that were imposed on it when it had a monopoly on national dairy herd testing.

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) has started consultation as the dairy industry prepares for the transfer of its core breeding database from the Livestock Improvement Corporation (LIC) to DairyNZ.

MPI said it needs to decide whether it's appropriate to continue regulating LIC once that's happened.

LIC chief executive Wayne McNee said its farmer owners agree it's time to do away with the restrictions.

"Originally when the Dairy Industry Restructring Act was put in place in 2001, there were a number of restrictions that were placed on LIC, because we were the only company doing national herd testing and because we had the core database which includes all the historic information about dairy animals.

"Now we have competition in herd testing and the database will be available to any company that wishes to access it.

"So the restrictions that were put in place, for example, requiring that we seek ministerial consent for changes to our constitution or to change our co-operative form, those requirements we believe are no longer needed, and our shareholders voted on this last year, asking the Government to remove those restrictions."

The ministry's consultation ends on 23 May.