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Monday, 25 May 2020 13:50

NAIT top priority

Written by  Staff Reporters
Grant and Karley Thomson. Grant and Karley Thomson.

Waikato sharemilkers Grant and Karley Thomson are moving farm on Moving Day (June 1) – their first move in five years.

Their top priority is on-farm and NAIT compliance.

Grant Thomson thanks NAIT and its ability to trace animals for saving their business.

“It’s essential. We had a situation with an infected animal traced back to our property,” says Grant

“It was born on our farm but had moved four times afterwards and then sold through a saleyard.

“Thankfully, it was only a trace and there was no M.bovis detected at our farms. They got on to it quickly and we were able to get back to business, and I doubt that would have been possible without NAIT and the ability to trace animals.”

The Thomsons have three NAIT locations: two dairy farms and a run-off block at Cambridge.

All properties have separate NAIT numbers.

Grant is the person in charge of animals (PICA) for all farms, responsible for the livestock managed there.

Their herd consists of 700 animals - a 500-strong herd with 140 R1s and 140 R2s.

Grant says they are ready for Moving Day.

“We’re expecting four or five trucks to roll in on June 1 to move 500 cows. 

“We’ll also be selling around 100 animals on the day, so we’ve got two helpers coming on-board.

“We’ve been in touch with OSPRI and got a new NAIT number for the Tirau farm and the herd is TB tested and ready to move.”

All their calves are tagged and registered in NAIT for lifetime traceability. 

Grant says the heifers will generally have NAIT and dairy participant code tags and are registered in LIC MINDA. 

“When we move the heifers their NAIT numbers and movement are synched through to the NAIT system. 

“We don’t use a livestock reader, so I record the NAIT tag numbers on paper and then go online after to record them in NAIT.”

On NAIT compliance, Grant would like to see more emphasis on getting farmers to record animal transfers in NAIT.

“There may be some issues with resources and getting bodies on the ground to police it.

“I believe stock agents could be more involved working with the buyer and seller to make sure transfers are recorded in NAIT. 

“I’ve had instances where I’ve received bulls on farm and had to wait for the NAIT number, it should be happening instantly when the agent offloads the animal.”

Grant’s advice to farmers on Moving Day is that ensure all your animals are tagged and registered in NAIT and that your NAIT account is up to date, before the animals go on the truck.

“It’s important to record all livestock movements in NAIT even if they are going to a grazing block.  If you’re a sharemilker moving to a new farm, I recommend you give OSPRI a call first to ensure you’re ready.”

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