Purpose and background

NAIT Ltd was established through a partnership between the beef, deer and dairy industries and the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI). NAIT Ltd is a subsidiary of OSPRI New Zealand Ltd.

The purpose of the National Animal Identification and Tracing Act 2012 is to establish an animal identification and tracing system that:

  • provides for the rapid and accurate tracing of individual, or groups of, NAIT animals from birth to death or live export; and
  • provides information on the current location and movement history of individual, or groups of, NAIT animals; and
  • improves biosecurity management; and
  • manages risks to human health arising from residues in food, food-borne diseases, and diseases that are transmissible between animals and humans; and
  • supports improved animal productivity, market assurances, and trading requirements.

There are four main drivers for the NAIT system:

Biosecurity
The implementation of an effective livestock traceability system enables New Zealand to respond to a biosecurity incursion or exotic disease event by tracing suspect or infected livestock and locating, prioritising and treating suspect or infected premises or animals.

Food safety
New Zealand must be able to provide assurance to local and overseas markets about food safety standards and product integrity through traceability of livestock and the associated property of origin of those products. NAIT supports traceback in the event of a food safety incident, residue or contamination issue and can hold information including slaughter monitoring data and other information relating to chemical or veterinary treatments that inform product integrity status.

Market assurance and access
New Zealand needs to provide assurance to both local and overseas markets and customers of the attributes associated with livestock product integrity and wholesomeness, for which traceability is a clear enabling requirement.

Animal health surveillance
National livestock traceability systems such as NAIT provide the ability to integrate animal health information and enable the monitoring, surveillance and management of both endemic and exotic diseases. NAIT provides support for decisions on the disease status of livestock or livestock products being sold, slaughtered or exported, and also provides capacity for the assignment of individual animal and premises status in association with animal health issues and diseases. This means any response activities, whether for treatment, vaccination or slaughter, can be prioritised on the basis of location and animal status, enabling more effective emergency response.

OSPRI delivers the NAIT programme to achieve these objectives through a range of activities as prescribed in the NAIT Act (2012) including:

  • Overseeing policy, standards development, licence provision and accreditation;
  • Supporting NAIT animal registration, data entry, movement/transaction recording;
  • Providing Government, industry and customers with reporting, alongside undertaking general monitoring and evaluation activities;
  • Providing and maintaining a secure, current and credible database;
  • Providing extension, field and service support for implementation, policy and system issues;
  • Communicating NAIT requirements and promoting programme uptake and adoption;
  • Providing resource and input to livestock trace-back exercises facilitated by Government; and
  • Providing input to, and integration with, the whole of chain livestock traceability system for domestic and export products.