Are you paying the correct slaughter levy?
Farmers who intend to rear calves for beef production should be mindful to update the animal production type in the NAIT online system.
From birth, all cattle are assigned a production type and this determines what farmers pay for their TB slaughter levy. It is therefore important farmers regularly check their NAIT accounts to ensure all animals are registered accurately in the online system before moving off-farm.
To ensure they’re paying the correct slaughter levy, farmers can change the animal production type. But they must do the update in the NAIT online system - 62 days before the animals go for slaughter.
Bay of Plenty farmer Rick Powdrell says, “If you’re a beef farmer, don’t assume that because you are registered as a drystock farm in the NAIT system you will pay the beef levy at the works. If you haven’t updated the animal production type from dairy to beef you'll be charged the dairy levy instead of the beef levy.”
Last November, Rick received about 200 feeder calves from nearby dairy farmer Darryl Jensen on to his Te Puke farm.
“It’s all straightforward really. Darryl records the sending movement in NAIT, and I confirm a receiving movement at my end. I’ve got a panel reader set up at the race, which is ideal for registering the animals automatically in NAIT as they come on-farm, and you can weigh them too using this equipment,” says Rick.
A staunch supporter of animal traceability, Rick has been an active NAIT user since the system was introduced seven years ago. He recalls making 'multiple calls’ over that period to the OSPRI Contact Centre but has no gripe.
“As a farmer these days, we seem to be constantly under the hammer to be compliant with a whole range of things, some of which are unfair. But for me, NAIT is different as there’s clearly a need and a benefit - so it is justified.
“Those farmers who aren’t convinced even after the M.Bovis [Mycoplasma bovis]outbreak, should consider the implications for their business and livelihood by not making animal traceability and disease management a priority,” says Rick.