Work underway to enhance NAIT system
OSPRI (NAIT Limited) is making steady progress addressing key operational recommendations identified in the NAIT review.
From the NAIT review’s 38 recommendations, 23 are operational; meaning these can be implemented by NAIT Limited under its role as the management agency for the NAIT programme.
The remaining recommendations require legislative changes. The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) is considering these potential Act and regulation amendments and will make the determination on the required changes and associated consultation in the coming months.
OSPRI Chief Executive Michelle Edge says, “OSPRI has already commenced the implementation of a number of the operational NAIT review recommendations. One of the first priorities involved the initiation of the joint compliance action plan with MPI, which has made good progress over the past few months.’
In this joint compliance action plan, work has involved formalising the agreed roles under the VADE mode (voluntary, assist, direct, enforce) for NAIT compliance. Accordingly, NAIT Limited will continue to undertake voluntary (communication and extension support) and assist (contact centre and operational support) compliance steps, alongside the issuance of warning letters.
MPI will continue to undertake direction (inspections and the issuance of notices) and enforcement (investigations and prosecutions) steps of the model.
More than 300 warning letters have been issued to Persons in Charge of Animals (PICAs) regarding non-compliances, assessed from those registered in the NAIT system but that are not completing their requirements. Many of these have been resolved by the PICA with the support of OSPRI’s contact centre.
Ms Edge says, “The remaining identified and unresolved non-compliances have been escalated to MPI for further investigation in the field. Along with ongoing investigation activity, warranted MPI officers have completed several hundred NAIT compliance checks and have issued 39 Infringement notices this year”.
OSPRI has also been revising the series of NAIT Act standards which will see a further range of the NAIT review recommendations implemented. The revised standards relate to device accreditation, and accredited entity and information provider standards.
The series of standards will be finalised over the coming months before a consultation process is undertaken to engage key parties and user groups that will be required to implement each standard, alongside wider industry, prior coming into force.
The NAIT online system is also undergoing changes to meet the review recommendations. These changes must be sequenced to ensure users can continue utilising the NAIT system and NAIT continues its ongoing service delivery and support to MPI for the mycoplasma bovis response.
Some key changes to the NAIT online system have already been introduced, such as the verification of premises location for NAIT number registration.
“This change enhances adherence to the 10km radius rule in the NAIT Act and was applied in the system earlier in the year in preparation for moving day to mitigate any potential risks to the current disease response effort,” says Ms Edge.
Also planned, is changes to how farmers record animal movements in the online system, as outlined in the recent NAIT Amendment Bill. Other changes will include the introduction of new processes for animal RFID upload, changes for recording impractical to tag animals prior to sending and the introduction of new PICA, premises and animal registration processes.
Ms Edge says, “An important ongoing focus for OSPRI will be providing guidance and support to industry to ensure end users of the system are notified of any changes and understand and meet their NAIT obligations.”
Work is underway to develop new guidance material for end users of the NAIT system and the first of these packages is now available online.
In addition, OSPRI are developing communication and best practice material for tagging practices, tag replacement, scanning, and reporting tag losses.