Legal obligations for owners of imported ruminants
Reporting obligations for owners of imported ruminants come under the Biosecurity (Imported Animals, Embryos, and Semen Information) Regulations 1999.
The reporting obligations do not apply to the offspring of imported ruminant animals.
Report a death by disease or illness within 4 hours
If a live imported ruminant animal dies of disease or is put down due to illness, you must report it to the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) within 4 hours.
Call MPI's 24-hour Exotic Pest and Disease Hotline on 0800 80 99 66.
The operator will record your:
- phone number and address
- email address
- the species of animal involved
- the description of the event
- the animal's MPI ear tag number.
Activities or events that must be reported within 7 days
For live imported ruminant animals, you must report to MPI within 7 days if:
- you send any animals to be slaughtered (don't send an imported ruminant for processing into pet food as this is illegal)
- you homekill any animals
- your animal's 'IMPORTED-MPI' ear tag is lost or becomes hard to read
- animals are sold or their ownership changes
- an animal goes missing.
To make a report, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Replacing NAIT tags
For replacement NAIT tags for cattle, buffaloes, and deer, contact one of the suppliers of NAIT tags. You must register the RFID NAIT tag on the NAIT system within 7 days of tagging.
Completing annual status reports
Each year in May, MPI will send you an Annual Status Report (ASR) with details of your imported ruminants. Complete the ASR and return it in the postage-paid envelope by 30 June of that year.
The ASR is the place to submit any changes to your contact details or the location you keep your imported ruminant animal.
If you don't submit the ASR on time, MPI will do a full audit of your farm. This normally takes about 5 hours to complete. You won't be charged for the audit.
It is an offence to:
- not supply the ASR to MPI
- provide false or misleading information to MPI.
Ruminant animals from imported embryos
If you own cattle, buffaloes, sheep, goats, or deer that originated from imported embryos, you must keep records for 7 years. You don't need to submit the records but you must make them available to MPI within 48 hours if requested.
Records must include:
- the animal's date of birth, sex, species, and breed or type
- the place where the animal is kept
- the animal's on-farm identification
- any change in ownership of the animal, including the name and address of the new and former owners
- the date the animal dies or is slaughtered.
Penalties for breaching regulations
There are penalties for not complying with the requirements of regulations. The maximum fine is $5,000 for individuals and $15,000 for corporations.
Who to contact
If you have questions on the reporting obligations for owners of imported ruminant animals, email email@example.com