Livestock ID, traceability Bill passes first reading

Parliament has unanimously supported the first step towards making law the identification and traceability of farm livestock.

The National Animal Identification and Traceability (Nait) Bill, which sets out the legal framework for the lifetime collection of information on livestock, their location and movement history, recently passed its first reading without dissent.

The the Bill has been referred to the primary production select committee.

Under the Nait proposal, from November 1 next year deer and cattle will be tagged with radio frequency identification tags, those in charge of the animals and their location registered, and reports logged with Nait when animals are moved.

"The Nait scheme will protect farmers in the international marketplace and strengthen our already excellent biosecurity system," Biosecurity Minister David Carter said.

"With other agricultural producing nations increasingly moving to mandatory computerised tracing of individual animals, New Zealand cannot afford to lag behind."

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