Fast Facts

Selling calves? Tag and register before sale

To build lifetime animal traceability, OSPRI is reminding dairy farmers and lifestylers to register their newborns in the NAIT online system.

“Tagging your calves is only half the job. You also need to activate the tag in the NAIT system to register the animal and this needs to be done within 180 days of birth, or before their first off-farm movement, whichever comes first,” says Kevin Forward, Head of NAIT.

Farmers that use information providers such as LIC, CRV or Farm IQ to register their calves, need to ensure the registration has also synced through to their NAIT account, before the animals go off-farm.

OSPRI advises farmers to check with their information provider on what they need to do to ensure they are meeting their NAIT obligations.

When tagged calves are not registered in NAIT, they become auto-registered by the NAIT system when the first movement is recorded. This results in a loss of lifetime traceability and impacts on our ability to respond to a biosecurity threat. A loss of lifetime traceability may also impact on the value of the animal.

Kevin says, “Farmers have become more aware of biosecurity risks to their farms as a result of M bovis, and we are seeing more and more farmers demanding to know the lifetime history of livestock before making purchasing decisions.”

The management and movement of calves is especially important with an estimated 1. 5 million calves reared annually in New Zealand.

If selling calves, the farmer must record a sending movement in the NAIT online system, likewise, if you’re buying calves remember to record and confirm the movement within 48 hours.

“For traceability, we need to know where your calves are going and it’s in every farmer’s interest to enquire about the calves they are trading and to ensure they exchange an animal status declaration (ASD) form at the point of sale.

“This type of information is invaluable for building lifetime animal traceability, which is the cornerstone of NAIT,” says Kevin.

Saleyards can record movements on behalf of farmers, if the calves are tagged and registered before they get to the sale.

Lifestyle farmers who rear calves are not exempt and must tag and register their calves even if they have only one on their property. “It’s important lifestylers have tagged and registered their calves in NAIT. If you’re bringing them onto your property, check that they have been tagged and registered in NAIT and the movement is recorded. This is vital for tracing purposes and supports disease management.

“Everyone with livestock has a responsibility to keep our industry and economy safe, this includes lifestylers,” says Kevin.

Source: OSPRI New Zealand Limited

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