Rearing calves? remember your NAIT and ASD obligations

Date 29 June 2018

Dairy farmers and lifestyle block holders rearing calves should be mindful of their NAIT obligations and requirement to complete and retain an Animal Status Declaration (ASD) form.

This means calves intended for rearing or selling need to be NAIT tagged and registered in the NAIT system prior to their first movement off-farm, or within six months of birth, whichever comes first.

When sending or receiving calves, the farmers involved should create and confirm the ‘movement‘ and ensure it is recorded online in the NAIT system, with an accompanying paper based ASD form to physically move with the animals.

Bobby calves less than 30 days of age and consigned directly to slaughter are the exception - as they are managed through meat processor regulations.
The management and movement of calves in terms of NAIT requirements is especially important with an estimated 1. 5 million calves reared annually in New Zealand.

For the purpose of lifetime traceability, it is vital for the point of origin to be established and that rests on farmers meeting their NAIT obligations including an ASD, for each group of animals leaving the farm.
Southland dairy farmer Nigel Johnston says farmers should be aware of their different requirements if selling calves to a rearer or putting them on the bobby truck.

“Perhaps, some farmers have overlooked this or weren’t sure, but there are no excuses and we all have a role to play in ensuring everyone is doing their NAIT.

“It's a no-brainer, especially in the instance of a disease outbreak as it will ensure effective traceability with rapid tracing of movements and from what locations.

“Any on-going emergency response management can also benefit as further biosecurity risks can be swiftly identified and diagnosed.”

Mr Johnston also recognises the value of an ASD form as part of enhancing the current livestock traceability system and says it gave farmers a “peace of mind” at the saleyard when looking to buy calves or livestock.

“It’s really critical for your business to know you aren’t inheriting a problem which could morph into a disease or biosecurity risk on your farm.

“The beauty of an ASD is you can find out about the calves’ health status and how long they’ve been at their previous locations before buying.”

In the event of a disease outbreak, the effectiveness of a government and industry response relies on farmers entering accurate and up to date information about calves or livestock into the NAIT online system.

OSPRI strongly advises farmers to fulfil their NAIT obligations. Farmers who do not respond will be subject to compliance monitoring, and if necessary, onsite inspections and enforcement will be undertaken by the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI).

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