Biosecurity doesn't just happen at the international border, but at your farm gate as well.
We manage the National Animal Identification and Tracing (NAIT) and TBfree programmes which work together to:
Tracing farm animals throughout their lifetime means that if there is a biosecurity risk or a disease outbreak we can respond quickly and effectively. Doing this reduces the threat to your livelihood, and the time and money needed to trace and eliminate disease from infected livestock.
New Zealand is proud of its high food safety standards. If our customers know where their meat products come from and that they're safe to eat or use, we can often get better prices for our products and sell them to a wider market. This is sometimes called 'farm to fork.'
The NAIT scheme links people, locations and livestock. Farmers and livestock owners use NAIT's online system to record information about animals and their movements. This information can be used to manage, contain and recover quickly from a disease outbreak.
TBfree is a nationwide programme that manages and contains bovine TB infections in cattle and deer by:
The programmes are paid for through a contribution from the government and levies. You pay levies when you:
If you're a Person in Charge of Animals (PICA), legally you must take part in the NAIT and TBfree schemes — this means registering and updating details about you, your farm and your animals. The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) enforces the NAIT and Biosecurity Acts. If you don't comply, you can face fines or prosecution.
If you look after the daily needs of cattle or deer, you're a PICA. All PICAs must register with NAIT and TBfree, and keep their records up to date.
You must also register all the properties where you keep animals.
Nearly all cattle and deer must be tagged and registered — it's a 2-step process.
Before you register the animals you look after, you must tag each one with a NAIT tag. You must apply the tag within 180 days of an animal's birth or before it first leaves your farm — whichever comes first. This becomes the main way to identify an individual animal throughout its life.
After they're tagged, you must register your animals in NAIT within 7 days or before you move them off your property — whichever comes first. By registering them in NAIT, you 'activate' their tag so they can be traced.
Some cattle and deer don't need to be tagged and registered.
If you keep cattle or deer, once a year you also need to declare other farm animals on your property that could spread disease between species.
After you've registered and tagged your animals you need to record in NAIT:
You also need to keep information about yourself, your location and anyone who has access to your NAIT account up to date.
Your animals are tested for bovine TB from time to time as part of our TBfree programme.
Every time cattle or deer arrive at or leave your property, you must create or confirm a movement in NAIT. When they leave your property you must also complete an Animal Status Declaration (ASD). This means we can trace all the places each animal has been if there's a disease outbreak.
Some customers pay a higher price for meat products if they know its history from farm to fork.
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