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NZ Tracking Device Finds Scaremongering Conspiracy

15 January 2009

NEW ZEALAND - The government has told farmers it will not commit to the National Animal Identification and Tracing (NAIT) system until after a second stage business study is completed in June for the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry.

The NAIT system - microchipping cattle and deer - is intended to protect access to export markets and ensure a faster response to any biosecurity crisis such as foot and mouth, said TVNZ in a news report earlier this week.

According to the news organisation, the discussion paper last year estimated the value from the system in the event of a serious disease outbreak at between $300 million and $524 million.

But farmers have said they fear the system could later be extended to also require tracking of sheep using radio frequency tags on ears.

Some farmers are also worried that tracking all animal movement between farms, saleyards and processors could eventually enable a government to calculate farmers' liability for greenhouse gas emissions from their livestock.

According to TVNZ, biosecurity Minister David Carter has called for an end to scaremongering over the proposed scheme, and for emotion to be taken out of the debate.

Former Federated Farmers leader Ian Corney - the independent chairman of the joint industry and government NAIT project - was last year branded a "turncoat" when he fronted up to the federation's meat and fibre section to answer questions on the controversial scheme.

TheCattleSite News Desk



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