Tag and register animals

All cattle and deer must be tagged with a NAIT approved RFID tag and registered in the NAIT online system within 180 days of birth or before they move off farm, whichever comes first.

Once NAIT animals are tagged, animal registration must be completed within 7 days, or before their first off farm movement, whichever comes first.

  • NAIT tags cannot be removed without permission from NAIT
  • NAIT tags cannot be reused for any reason
  • NAIT animals cannot move to a different NAIT location without a NAIT tag (exemptions apply under the NAIT Act, see below)

When tagging NAIT animals, we recommend that you follow the tag manufacturer’s instructions for maximum tag retention.

It is also recommended that you make a record of the tag number(s) or the tag sequence range used when tagging animals to make it easier to register the animals in the NAIT online system, or to locate the tag numbers in your NAIT account when re-registering the animals if they have lost their original RFID tag.

You will need to record the production type and the month and year of birth of the animals you are tagging so that you are able to enter these details in the NAIT online system when registering the animals. More details about animal registration is below.

Download our tag and register guide

Report a tag issue

Animal registration

NAIT animal registration does not occur automatically – by registration of the animals in the NAIT system, the PICA declares the presence of NAIT animals at their location.

The information required at the time of animal registration is:

  • The RFID tag numbers of tags applied to the livestock
  • The animal type e.g. cattle or deer
  • The designated production type for cattle, e.g. dairy or beef
  • The animal/s month and year of birth
  • The NAIT number of birthplace/premises

Download the NAIT Animal Registration factsheet
Click here for NAIT registration FAQs

NAIT approved RFID Tags

A NAIT approved RFID tag is the device used to identify an individual animal under the NAIT scheme.

Each NAIT RFID tag contains a microchip with a 15-digit RFID number that is globally unique and can be read by a RFID scanner. The RFID number is linked to a visual identification number that is printed on the tag.

Each tag number is used to register and identify a unique animal in the NAIT online system allowing each animal to be traced throughout its lifetime through the recording of NAIT movements by registered persons in charge of animals (PICAs).

Click here for information about reading NAIT tags. cattle or deer

NAIT tags for cattle are white with a white back portion. NAIT tags for deer are orange, the back portion may be any colour except white. It is an offence to use tags issued for one species to identify an animal of another species.

NAIT approved RFID tags come in two types:

  • HDX (Half duplex)
  • FDX (Full duplex)

The tag type relates to the way the transponder operates when scanned by an RFID reader. You should research which type will be most appropriate for your farming operation prior to purchasing (your on-farm scanning equipment may be designed to perform better with HDX or FDX technology).

For advice on purchasing the right tags or related scanning equipment for your operation, we recommend that you get in touch with manufacturers of NAIT tags and RFID readers directly.

There are several accredited manufacturers of NAIT RFID tags in New Zealand. Tags can be purchased through your local farm supply store, your vet, or your artificial breeding provider.

Click here to download the NAIT RFID tag factsheet.
Click here for technical tips for tagging your animals

To apply for permission to remove NAIT tags, call the OSPRI contact centre on 0800 482 463


Tagging exemptions include:

  • Calves less than 30 days old consigned directly to a meat processor from their birth farm (bobby calves)
  • Fallow deer
  • Trophy stags that are going to a game estate, safari park or zoo
  • Cattle and deer that the PICA deems too dangerous to tag qualify for the unsafe to tag (UTT) exemption, provided they are going direct to slaughter.

Conditions of exemptions:

  • UTT animals will incur a UTT levy of $13 per head (excl. GST) by the meat processor
  • Fallow deer and trophy stags may move between farms, but an exempt animal movement must be recorded in the NAIT online system. The PICA must be registered in the NAIT online system and provide an annual tally of exempt animals at their location.

Tag Removal Requests

It is an offence under the NAIT Act to remove a NAIT tag without permission from NAIT Limited.

Any PICA that needs to remove or replace a NAIT RFID tag from a NAIT animal, must first contact NAIT to request authorisation on 0800 482 463 or email info@ospri.co.nz

  • Prior to authorisation being granted, the tag number of each NAIT RFID tag that requires removal must be provided to NAIT.
  • Once an approved tag has been removed and replaced, a tag replacement must be logged in the NAIT online system by the PICA.

It is an offence to alter or reuse a NAIT tag under any circumstances.