3 Feb 2012

Farmers urged to register for ID scheme

7:11 pm on 3 February 2012

Cattle and deer farmers have been advised to start registering for the National Animal Identification and Tracing scheme, known as NAIT.

The scheme, requiring the use of new electronic ear tags, will become compulsory for cattle from July, and deer from March next year.

It will allow individual livestock to be traced through their life-time, through electronic ear tags and a central database.

The aim is to assure overseas markets that a livestock disease can be quickly contained in the event of any biosecurity incident.

NAIT's chief executive Russell Burnard says the registration process is relatively straight forward.

"There's some personal information that's needed, obviously your location, your name etc, so that we can identify your property and you and provide those links together and then we'll give you a NAIT number and that'll be the tool we'll use for all transactions with NAIT once we become mandatory for cattle in July this year", he says.

Mr Burnard says once NAIT becomes mandatory, farmers will have to tag and register their animals and then record any movement that they make to a sale yard, another farm or to a processor.

He says they're trying to get a number of key players in the sector, such as sale yards and processors, to be accredited with NAIT.

Mr Burnard says accredited organisations, will be able to do all the transactions for and on behalf of the farmer, and reduce costs to farmers.

He says the easiest and quickest way for farmers to register is by going to the NAIT website.