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OSPRI campaign targets non-registered animals going off-farm

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

OSPRI has launched a campaign to address the issue of tagged animals not being registered in the NAIT online system.

Over 21,000 farmers have been identified as having moved one or more non-registered animals off-farm during 2018 and have been notified by way of a NAIT nudge sent in the mail.

"NAIT animal registration is not automatic. Having NAIT tags in your animals’ ears is only half the job. Once you’ve tagged them, the RFID tag must be registered and activated in NAIT. This should be done before the animal is moved to a new location or within seven days of fitting the ear tag, whichever comes first," says Kevin Forward, Head of NAIT.

It is an offence not to tag and register livestock and deer, unless the animal meets exemption criteria. New born animals need to be tagged and registered in NAIT before they reach 180 days old or before their first movement off-farm, whichever comes first.

While focus is on helping farmers understand their NAIT obligations, the NAIT nudge warns the receivers that NAIT accounts are being monitored and lack of action or repeated offending may lead to infringement fines or possible enforcement.

Kevin says, "Under the NAIT Act, you are breaking the law if you aren’t tagging and registering your animals in NAIT. This situation is compromising our ability to effectively trace animals in a biosecurity outbreak such as M bovis and puts your industry and livelihood at risk."

When a tagged animal is not registered but then recorded in a movement, it is automatically registered in the NAIT system. This is not only an offence, it undermines lifetime traceability as the birthplace can never be accurately verified.

It also means important information such as age, breed and sex are missing from the animal record.

"We need to be able to trace the animal from birth to death, know where it was located, what other animals it interacted with and who was managing it at that time.

"Lifetime traceability shouldn’t be an aspiration for farmers or the wider industry, it should be a necessity if we want to support disease management and protect the industry and livelihoods of farmers.

"Ask any farmer who has been impacted by M bovis how important lifetime traceability is," says Kevin.

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