North Otago calf rearer Jared Ovens believes the Mycoplasma bovis outbreak has led to more farmers embracing animal traceability.
Waitomo sheep and beef farmer, 67-year old Brian Anthony Murphy, was sentenced at the Te Kuiti District Court recently after pleading guilty to three charges of failing to register the cattle.
The Ministry for Primary Industries national manager of Animal Welfare and NAIT compliance Gray Harrison said compliance with the animal and identification system was critical.
“We certainly take it very seriously. Our ability to track and trace cattle and deer through the NAIT system is a critical factor in managing biosecurity threats which could have a devastating impact on New Zealand’s agricultural sector.”
Recent amendments to penalties in the NAIT Act, which increased the maximum penalty to $100,000, reflected the importance of compliance, Harrison said.
“This latest sentencing follows a number of recent NAIT-related convictions. People who want to take short cuts need to be aware we will continue to identify and address non-compliance.”
In July, Taupo dairy farm manager Raymond Arthur Griffin was fined $3,600 for failing to register more than 1000 animals. And a Northland deer farmer was fined $3,250 over his failure to put NAIT tags on 70 of his deer.
In the meantime, MPI will continue to work with OSPRI and the sector to ensure people understand their responsibilities.
“If you don’t tag and register your cattle or deer in NAIT, the animal is not traceable and this has implications for managing disease outbreaks and our wider biosecurity capability. The absence of traceability may also impact on the value of the animal,” said OSPRI head of traceability Kevin Forward.