Traceability system to benefit from proposed biosecurity overhaul

Date 23 July 2019

OSPRI says proposed changes to New Zealand’s biosecurity system are another progressive step to strengthening our National Animal Identification and Tracing system (NAIT).

As the management agency for NAIT and the TBfree programme, OSPRI plays a key role in helping to support New Zealand’s wider biosecurity framework, specialising in disease management and traceability.

OSPRI Chief Executive Stephen Stuart believes proposals to overhaul the Biosecurity Act will assist with the current focus on rebuilding NAIT, alongside lessons learned when NAIT was stressed tested during the Mycoplasma bovis response and NAIT review.

“OSPRI has undertaken significant work in the past year to improve NAIT and we are committed to ensuring the NAIT system is fit for purpose and meets future biosecurity challenges outlined by the Minister.

Since the NAIT review, OSPRI has been proactively addressing the operational recommendations with ongoing system enhancements including a ‘clean up’ of the data held in the system.

“Our project to improve the integrity of NAIT data is the biggest system change since NAIT was introduced in 2012. This is a major undertaking requiring all farmers to update their NAIT accounts, including locations and livestock they manage.

“We are also in the process of implementing new ‘standards’ which will lift the performance of third-party providers and tag manufacturers who act on behalf of farmers.

“This will mean greater accountability around livestock data transfer with formal contracts, regular audits, and a renewal of accreditation every three years.

“Since February we have rolled out an extensive NAIT education campaign targeting farmers and the wider industry reminding them of their NAIT obligations. This has included greater presence of OSPRI extension staff and the NAIT team at regional field days.

“We have also recruited more contact centre staff as a result of farmers and industry becoming more aware of their NAIT obligations and seeking help to address their issues.

“OSPRI believes the upsurge in farmer and industry engagement with NAIT is key to rebuilding trust and confidence in the system and this positive development, will ultimately help strengthen our national biosecurity system," says Stephen.

CEO Stephen Stuart111

Pictured: CEO, Stephen Stuart