Farm­ers im­prove biose­cu­rity prac­tice

Waipa Post - - The Country -

Farm­ers are up­ping their on-farm biose­cu­rity by mak­ing greater use of the Na­tional An­i­mal Iden­ti­fi­ca­tion and Trac­ing scheme, Biose­cu­rity Min­is­ter Damien O’Con­nor said.

Speak­ing with farm­ers at the New Zealand Agri­cul­tural Show in Can­ter­bury last week, the min­is­ter said biose­cu­rity was front of mind.

“The Gov­ern­ment has been mak­ing changes to en­sure NAIT is eas­ier to use and a more ef­fec­tive biose­cu­rity tool fol­low­ing its poor per­for­mance dur­ing the My­coplasma bo­vis out­break,” said Damien.

“While hun­dreds of warn­ing let­ters and more than 70 fines have been is­sued for those break­ing the rules, thou­sands of farm­ers have upped their game.

“Feet on the ground mat­ter and about 30 NAIT com­pli­ance staff are in the field or com­plet­ing train­ing over the next month to help farm­ers use NAIT con­sis­tently.

“While they will chiefly of­fer a hand to those who need help to meet their obli­ga­tions, they will be pe­nal­is­ing those break­ing the rules.

“More and more I’m hear­ing that the dairy and beef in­dus­tries want those in the sec­tor who are bla­tantly dis­re­gard­ing the rules to be dealt with swiftly and firmly.

“I want to thank ev­ery­one who has im­proved their record keep­ing on farm and en­cour­age them to con­tinue to use NAIT con­sis­tently as not just a biose­cu­rity tool, but an es­sen­tial part of busi­ness.

“I also thank those help­ing strengthen the NAIT sys­tem by hav­ing their say on MPI’s reg­u­la­tory con­sul­ta­tion — drop into the stand if you have ques­tions,” said Damien.

Damien O’Con­nor

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