OSPRI and MPI target NAIT compliance
OSPRI is ready to support the Government’s intentions to fast-track the improvement of the National Animal Identification and Tracing (NAIT) system in accordance with recommendations of the NAIT review.
A key recommendation of the NAIT review is to enhance and increase resource into compliance enforcement through a joint strategic approach between OSPRI and MPI.
This recommendation recognises the importance of co-investment of industry and government and the effective use of compliance resources to achieve NAIT compliance outcomes.
OSPRI has commenced the implementation of this recommendation through the development of customised reports to identify account users that may potentially not be complying with NAIT Act provisions.
These reports will be provided to MPI for review and enforcement action.
Although NAIT can provide indicative data, verification on the ground will be required in the majority of instances for infringements and enforcement to be applied.
While this kind of reporting by NAIT Limited has occurred previously as part of standard practice, emphasis will now be lifted towards identifying those that are multiple offenders over specific time periods, then issuing warning letters (Notices to Comply).
Once letters have been issued, NAIT will monitor potential changes in information received, and report to MPI.
If no changes have been made towards compliance by the individual PICA that received the notice, inspection will be initiated.
The focus will be on identifying those individual PICAs that have not undertaken a series of actions to comply with the major aspects of the NAIT system over a period of time, not simply a single offence of those PICAs who are reasonably complying with NAIT.
It is important to note that NAIT can only identify the information held within its system and that for penalties to be applied, physical inspection or other comparative data or information such as the ASD is required to prove whether or not the data contained in NAIT reflects the realities on the ground. Therefore, inspection to identify whether particular animals are present on farm and not registered or have been moved and their movement not recorded is required in most instances.
Verification of NAIT against the ASD at saleyards and processing plants or physical inspection at these key supply chain points or farm premises as occurs currently also provides the ability to identify whether or not the information uploaded to the NAIT online NAIT database is that which has physically occurred on the given day for those animals.
Where a notice to comply has been issued, if no observable improvement is taken, reports will be provided to MPI and this will initiate inspection or further field investigation in order to potentially apply infringements or further enforcement.
As announced by Government recently, the animal welfare inspectorate, already authorised under the NAIT Act, will conduct field investigations in collaboration with OSPRI who will provide reporting, verification and assessment of data held.
In these field investigations, it is also possible to identify the data not held within NAIT e.g. those not utilising the NAIT system in practice.
To support compliance improvement in the medium to longer term, emphasis will be placed on ensuring regular inspectorate presence at key verification points and verification by inspectors of ASD coupled with analysis of NAIT to compare with the physical movement against NAIT records of the same movement.
In addition, consideration towards major inspection blitz operations is being considered to target key areas and raise awareness of the importance of NAIT compliance in areas of high volume livestock movements.
It is clear that to achieve the outcomes anticipated by both industry and government, there will need to be regular field presence of the inspectorate attending at saleyards, meat processing plants and other key livestock transaction and verification points, to identify non-compliances of livestock suppliers and farmers.
It is clear that where the data has been up to date in the system, tracing has been effective. Therefore, the focus will remain in ensuring uptake and adherence by end users. The initiation of warning letters as notices to comply will occur in the coming weeks to NAIT users. In parallel, MPI will apply field inspection to identify any participants not complying or that are not registered in the NAIT system.
NAIT already deals with non-compliances associated with information providers and accredited entities and will continue to do so as the standards that apply to these accreditations are revised under the NAIT review recommendations.
Going forward, greater emphasis on compliance will be placed through assessing the performance against the standards of these contributing commercial agencies and businesses over time in respect to uploading the required NAIT data to the online database.
NAIT users are encouraged, if and when they receive these notices to comply, to check their accounts, take the required actions and/or contact OSPRI for assistance in ensuring that they are complying with system requirements.
Effort and investment will also be directed towards industry extension and education for those less familiar with the requirements of NAIT to support uptake and effective use within industry.
A widespread extension and education campaign has been developed and will be rolled out over the coming months in support of assisting industry end users.
For more details about the NAIT review see the NAIT Review Report.
Background and key information
The NAIT programme has been in place since 2012 and is funded by industry and Government. The individual animal identification and tracing scheme links people, property and livestock through its RFID tag identifiers, property registration, animal registration and recording of animal movements in an online national database to ensure the traceability and management of any disease outbreak or food safety incident.