The passing of the Farm Debt Mediation and NAIT laws last night shows the Government’s commitment to work alongside and help farmers, says Ag Minister Damien O’Connor.
"This is good news for farmers. We've been working with NAIT to ensure that it's as low cost and farmer-friendly as possible," says DairyNZ's chief executive Tim Mackle.
"Farmers have responded to NAIT even better than we expected. The high uptake is an indication that farmers, as we knew they would, see the benefits of traceability in terms of increasing our preparedness and reducing risk to the industry.
"It's great, as it means we're in a position to lower costs to cattle farmers, earlier than anticipated."
The NAIT scheme went live for cattle on July 1, 2012 and for deer on March 1, 2013.
As a non-profit company owned by farmers, NAIT Ltd is required to only recover what is needed to operate the NAIT scheme. The better-than-expected response made it possible to review the rates within its first year of operation – earlier than anticipated.
The tag levy on cattle will be reduced from $1.10 per tag to .90 cents and the slaughter levy for cattle from $1.35 to $1 per animal as of March 8, 2013. The Impractical to Tag levy will not increase as planned, but stay unchanged at $13.
DairyNZ, Beef + Lamb NZ and Deer Industry NZ are shareholders in NAIT Ltd. These organisations have worked in partnership with the Crown to lead the establishment of NAIT as a low-cost, efficient, animal identification and tracing scheme.
A comprehensive NAIT scheme will add an important biosecurity tool to New Zealand's toolkit. It responds to increasing consumer demands for lifetime traceability for the food they eat, and it brings New Zealand up-to-speed with practices adopted by major trade competitors.