NAIT system crucial for deer farm management


We run a deer farm in Marlborough. We're located in Seddon, which is just south of Blenheim. We're on 180 hectares, and we're running around about 700 deer.  We've been farming here since 1979. Since we've expanded the unit, we've just needed a better management tool.  
When the NAIT system first came in we were quite keen to get on board basically. So, I think the big thing with NAIT is it's really crucial to keep it up to date. It's quite an important thing for us. We're actually using it more as a management tool. The things we can do just makes our life so much easier. 
So, when the hinds are coming in, we will know which stag to put them to. When a stag comes in for Velveting, we know what weight it's cut in the past and we know it's breeding because we're using that tag, linked in with our management system to give us all the information.  
It is a valuable tool. It's not a hindrance. It's not just a compliance. We're using it more for management as well. 
If you've got an unsafe-to-tag animal, you can simply contact the OSPRI call centre and do a declaration. You can also do an unsafe animal to tag on the NAIT system by simply going online and registering it. You've then got to mark that animal; have it clearly marked and send it off. 
Deer tag retention, it's not too bad. We had 170 hinds in on Monday, two days ago and out of the 170, one tag was missing, and one tag wouldn't read, so we replaced them. I upload them on the NAIT system yesterday. Probably took about four to five minutes to do it all.  
I think the biggest thing is just keeping it up to date. If you haven't got it up to date, tackle it. Don't keep on putting it on the back burner. Yeh, I'll get round to it. 
The NAIT system for us is actually the farm management, but at the end of the day it's a bit of a biosecurity thing as well. 
We have to know where the animals have come from if we're buying in, having that traceability is a real big thing for us.  
By keeping our NAIT system up to date, we're effectively improving our biosecurity on farm, and it's also flowing through to any markets that we're selling into.  
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