The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) is warning against complacency as rates of compliance with the National Animal Identification and Tracing (NAIT) scheme continue to rise.
The scheme, which maintains a national database of cattle and deer movements, is a critical part of New Zealand's ability to respond quickly to biosecurity threats, says MPI national manager of animal welfare and NAIT compliance, Gray Harrison.
"We take non-compliance seriously because of the potentially devastating effect these threats can have on industry and communities.
"Up to 2018, only about 60% of tagged animals were being registered before first movement. Since 2019, MPI and the Operational Solutions for Primary Industries (OSPRI), which maintains the NAIT database, have renewed efforts to improve compliance, and the compliance rate is up to 90% this year.
MPI prosecuted 18 people in charge of animals for failing to meet their obligations under the National Animal Identification and Tracing (NAIT) scheme in 2021. In addition, we’ve issued 1,782 infringements and 2,372 written warnings.
"It’s having the desired effect, but we can’t afford complacency. Our message to people with animals which come under the NAIT scheme is that we all need to do our part to protect New Zealand. For our part, we will continue to keep a close eye on NAIT compliance.
Mr Harrison says amendments to penalties in the NAIT Act, which increased the maximum penalty tenfold to $100,000 in late 2019, send a strong message – that people need to treat this scheme very seriously.
"If you are unsure about what you need to do, reach out. There is plenty of information, advice and support available."