A Hawera farmer is one of several farmers recently convicted for failing to register his animals under the National Animal Identification and Tracing (NAIT) scheme.
Kim Phillip Robinson is chief executive of Lochiel Farmlands Limited and responsible for the registration of the animals.
The farm manages approximately 3,000 cattle as dry stock with its main operations being as a breeder and finisher of stock.
Robinson appeared for sentencing before the Pukekohe District Court on 3 May 2021.
MPI regional manager animal welfare and NAIT compliance, Brendon Mikkelsen says the NAIT system is critical to MPI’s ability to respond quickly in the event of biosecurity outbreaks.
“It allows us to track and trace animals that might be moving between farms or to meat processors so we can quickly understand and deal with biosecurity threats which can have a devastating impact on the rural communities and the wider economy,” Mikkelsen says.
“Despite previously being reminded of his obligations and being registered as the person in charge of the NAIT animals since 2012 at Lochiel Farmlands Limited, Mr Robinson failed to play his part to protect New Zealand’s biosecurity.”
Robinson’s offending came to light through an analysis of the NAIT database.
“He moved 820 unregistered NAIT animals off Lochiel Farmlands Limited to four meat processing facilities between February and early November 2019.
“Most people in charge of animals understand what is at stake and ensure they’ve registered NAIT animals. For those who don’t, our message is that non-compliance will be found and dealt with,” Mikkelsen says.
He adds that it is particularly important that farmers remember their NAIT responsibilities when moving animals to other locations.
“We encourage people to talk to their farm advisors, or make contact with OSPRI or their industry organisations for support.
“MPI has processes in place that will alert NAIT officers if NAIT animals have not been registered – or if they have been moved without this being recorded in the NAIT system. MPI utilises this system every day, not just on moving day,” Mikkelsen says.
Robinson was also ordered to pay $130 in court costs.