Change to livestock ear tagging requirements
Farmers will no longer have to place Animal Health Board (AHB) approved secondary ear tags on cattle and deer once the NAIT scheme comes into effect.
The change to ear tagging requirements will take effect from 1 July 2012 for cattle and 1 March 2013 for deer.
National Animal Identification and Tracing (NAIT) scheme radio frequency identification tags will then become the only compulsory tags for livestock. However, any existing official ear tags should not be removed from older stock.
Farmers may still wish to use other tags for management reasons, but that will be their choice. Those who use industry tracing systems, such as LIC MINDA or CRV Ambreed, should seek advice from their usual sources to find out how the change affects them.
The AHB will work closely with NAIT to make sure the ability to trace and identify suspected or confirmed bovine tuberculosis (TB) infected cattle and deer is maintained.
“This change in tagging requirements will reduce animal identification costs and bring the AHB system in line with the NAIT scheme,” said AHB Operational Policy Manager Nick Hancox.
“However, we cannot afford to jeopardise the gains made in managing TB, especially when the NAIT scheme first starts. For that reason, farmers need to be compliant as early as possible,” said Mr Hancox.
From 1 July, farmers will still have the option of purchasing linked ear tag sets, comprising an electronic NAIT tag and a matching secondary tag. This will allow them to identify animals by sight rather than using an electronic tag reader.
“NAIT is committed to working with the AHB to streamline systems and minimise hassle for farmers. We are pleased with the AHB’s decision as it gives choice to farmers and lowers the mandatory costs they face once NAIT comes into effect,” said NAIT Limited Chief Executive Russell Burnard.
“What’s important now is for farmers to make sure they understand their NAIT obligations and what they need to do to be ready ahead of time.”
For further information, please contact:
Animal Health Board
027 460 0754
Return to News releases