The chief executive of a large Waikato farm business has been fined a total of $3,600 for 4 charges related to failing to register 820 animals under the National Animal Identification and Tracing (NAIT) scheme.
Kim Phillip Robinson (65) is CEO of Lochiel Farmlands Limited and responsible for the registration of the animals. The farm manages about 3,000 cattle as dry stock with its main operations being as a breeder and finisher of stock. He appeared for sentencing before the Pukekohe District Court today (3 May 2021).
MPI regional manager animal welfare and NAIT compliance, Brendon Mikkelsen says the NAIT system is critical to our ability to respond quickly in the event of biosecurity outbreaks.
"It allows us to track and trace animals that might be moving between farms or to meat processors so we can quickly understand and deal with biosecurity threats which can have a devastating impact on the rural communities and the wider economy.
"Despite previously being reminded of his obligations and being registered as the person in charge of the NAIT animals since 2012 at Lochiel Farmlands Limited, Mr Robinson failed to play his part to protect New Zealand's biosecurity."
Mr Robinson's offending came to light through an analysis of the NAIT database.
"He moved 820 unregistered NAIT animals off Lochiel Farmlands Limited to 4 meat processing facilities between February and early November 2019.
"Most people in charge of animals understand what is at stake and ensure they've registered NAIT animals. For those who don't, our message is that non-compliance will be found and dealt with.
"Whenever farmers are moving their animals to other locations, it's particularly important that they remember their NAIT responsibilities.
"We encourage people to talk to their farm advisors, or make contact with OSPRI or their industry organisations for support.
"MPI has processes in place that will alert NAIT officers if NAIT animals have not been registered – or if they have been moved without this being recorded in the NAIT system. MPI utilises this system every day, not just on Moving day," Mr Mikkelsen says.
Mr Robinson was also ordered to pay court costs of $130.
The National Animal Identification and Tracing (NAIT) programme records:
- The location and movement of individual animals (for example to another farm or to slaughter)
- Contact details for the person in charge of an animal
- In 2019, amendments to penalties in the NAIT Act increased the maximum penalty to $100,000, reflecting the importance of compliance.
Why we need NAIT
NAIT helps MPI to respond quickly in case of a serious biosecurity outbreak or natural disaster. Traceability is also important for food safety and quality assurance programmes.
NAIT helps to protect:
- stock from disease and harm
- farmers' livelihoods
- New Zealand's reputation and economy.