Feedback sought on draft regulations to implement the National Animal Identification and Tracing Act

4 May 2011

The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry released its discussion document regarding the National Animal Identification and Tracing (NAIT) scheme regulations on Monday 2 May and is inviting feedback from all interested parties.

Although the NAIT Bill is currently before select committee, MAF has Cabinet approval to begin consultation on the policies underpinning the regulations. Submissions can be made from today until 5pm Friday May 27.

Julie Collins Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MAF) Director Biosecurity and Food Policy says the NAIT scheme will enable New Zealand to quickly and more efficiently establish the health status of New Zealand's livestock population.

"Existing traceability systems in New Zealand meet current requirements but are falling behind the system of our trading partners and competitors. New Zealand needs world-recognised systems for identifying and tracing animals to better manage livestock diseases and meet growing demands for consumer assurances of the history of our livestock and animal products."

She says NAIT imposes specific requirements on participants in the live animal value chain (farmers through to processors) to ensure accurate information can be quickly accessed to establish the health status and location of NAIT animals. With the permission of participants this information can also be linked to other non-mandatory on-farm information to improve productivity, facilitate trade in animals, and improve returns to farmers.

"Industry specifically asked for government regulation because industry considered the system must be mandatory to be effective. New Zealand's approach is consistent with guidelines for countries to identify and trace animals issued by the World Animal Health Organisation (OIE)."

Julie says MAF has worked closely with industry experts and NAIT Limited to make the regulations practical and are now seeking wider feedback. "The consultation document sets out the proposed design of regulations to clarify what people must do to comply with their obligations under the NAIT Bill (if passed). The proposed regulations also set out some exemptions from some of these obligations to cover special circumstances.

"The NAIT scheme requires a high level of voluntary compliance to be effective and our main focus at this stage is to ensure that all parties understand what is required and when." Feedback from the consultation will be used to identify issues and compliance costs that may not have been adequately considered to date, including any possible consequences of the proposed regulations.

The consultation document is available at http://www.maf.govt.nz/news-resources/consultations. MAF will need to receive submissions by 5 pm on Friday 27 May 2011.

Anyone making submissions can email to naitconsultation@maf.govt.nz or in writing to:
NAIT Regulations Submissions
Biosecurity and Food Policy Directorate
Policy, Science and Economics Branch,
Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry
PO Box 2526
Wellington 6140

ENDS

Issued by:
Annie Wright
Senior Communications Adviser
Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry
Telephone: 04-894 0654 or 029-894 0654
Email: annie.wright@maf.govt.nz

 

Last Updated: 04 May 2011

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