Getting help with NAIT

Date 30 November 2018

Farmers worried about their NAIT account or unsure how to meet their NAIT requirements should get in touch with OSPRI, says Canterbury drystock farmer Katy Iremonger.

“Never feel embarrassed to ask anything. Whether it is how to upload a NAIT tag file or if the file is the correct format for the system. Trust me, I’ve been there, done that. There shouldn’t be a stigma or fear that asking for help is going to land you in trouble.

“Just pick up the phone, and ask the question, you might be pleasantly surprised with the response you get and how quickly your issue can be fixed,” says Katy.

Another option is to get assistance by assigning a delegate or using the services of a NAIT accredited information provider.  This is often the case when farmers don’t have a scanner, inadequate internet, are less computer savvy or under pressure to complete on-farm tasks.

While farmers at a registered NAIT location can nominate more than one delegate to manage their NAIT account, they still have overall responsibility for updating and maintaining those accounts.

Katy is PICA delegate for multiple NAIT locations, with access to all the related PICA accounts and authorisation to record and confirm livestock movements in the NAIT online system on their behalf.

This involves Katy managing a ‘central book’ to cross check their shepherds (PICAs) are properly recording all animal movements alongside Animal Status Declaration forms (ASD) and truck dockets.

“Our shepherds are very good. It might seem ‘old school’ but they are actually young men and women who are diligent with their notebook entries. We did try using an App based system, but we didn’t feel it was working for us.”

Katy and husband Matt are involved in a mixed-enterprise partnership, specialising in breeding, finishing, grazing heifers and arable with nine staff spread across four grazing blocks and two farms.

They recently took over management of a 5000-hectare farming business at Banks Peninsula and found themselves in charge of over 4000 animals.

“It has certainly been challenging getting NAIT records up to date and we didn’t know the true extent until we started trading animals, so I’ve been busy working through what animals are registered in NAIT.”

The Iremongers decided to register all six locations in NAIT separately for biosecurity reasons.

“The mycoplasma bovis situation is a horrendous situation for many. While we’re lucky that none of our herds are affected, it has been massive learning for Matt, me and staff.

“NAIT is now top of the agenda with the day-to-day running of the farms, and this is an essential duty for effective traceability and on-farm biosecurity.”

Katy meanwhile has some candid advice for farmers managing their NAIT requirements.

“Do your NAIT movements straightaway - when they’re still fresh in your mind. You are more likely to spot any inconsistences with the animal movements recorded online.

“All PICAs are obligated to record them in the NAIT online system within 48 hours, so it is a priority.”

For more information on PICA delegates click here

Katy Matt Iremonger 2

Katy and husband Matt manage six NAIT locations in Canterbury