NZ `Falls Short Without Traceability

NEW ZEALAND - Without traceability systems New Zealand’s economy is in jeopardy and greater leadership is needed at Government level according to LIC (Livestock Improvement) chairman Stuart Bay.
calendar icon 10 October 2007
clock icon 2 minute read

He said it is essential that traceability systems are introduced to protect the integrity of New Zealand’s animal products, processes and management systems, "to give some certainty to the farming and export sectors and before a biosecurity out-break occurs."

Stuart Bay said as an exporting nation with livestock farming providing about 40% of New Zealand’s exports the country’s economy relied on farming but alarmingly was currently "lagging the field" when it came to having a system in place to track individual animal movements. He said the implementation of a national animal traceability programme is vital.

Speaking at the Hamilton based farm improvement company’s annual meeting on October 10, Stuart Bay said matching the traceability requirements of trading partners and competitors was critical to keeping New Zealand export markets open.

He said an industry group set up by Industry and Government (NAIT) over two years ago signalled that national traceability would soon be a requirement for all New Zealand livestock industries.

"Initially NAIT indicated that, by around 2008, it would be mandatory for the cattle and deer sectors to have a traceability system operational and set 2007 as the date for voluntary implementation.

The voluntary date has been and gone and our best guess, today, is that the mandatory date has moved back to 2009.

LIC (Livestock Improvement) chairman Stuart Bay.

"The voluntary date has been and gone and our best guess, today, is that the mandatory date has moved back to 2009.

"With less than two calvings until that deadline NAIT has yet to deliver any formal decisions on if or how this will be implemented."

Stuart Bay said the lack of clarity and/or transparency of progress by NAIT could be seen as a symbol of the type of apathy which was a result of not having experienced the trauma of an outbreak of disease which decimates livestock farming.

"What is needed is one, effective system that does not duplicate infrastructure or cost for farmers.

"LIC has earned international respect for the work it has done in animal performance management and with dairy farmer’s voluntary participation in MINDA herd recording means that a system is in place to track individual animal movements. No other livestock sector in this country has that ability.

"LIC is one of a number of companies intrinsically linked by philosophy and commercial drivers to achieving national traceability to help protect our farms and the economy and make our farmers more profitable."

TheCattleSite News Desk

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