Warning sounded over Nait data

Damien O'Connor. Photo: ODT files
Damien O'Connor. Photo: ODT files
Beef + Lamb New Zealand has sounded a word of caution on the Government's plan to take full ownership of farmer data under the National Animal Identification and Tracing Act (Nait).

Biosecurity Minister Damien O'Connor recently announced he would be reviewing the 26-year-old Biosecurity Act and what he referred to as an ''outdated'' Nait programme, aimed at improving tracing, tightening rules for handling untagged animals and improving the use of data.

A key recommendation would be that Nait data would in future be the exclusive intellectual property of the Crown.

However, Beef + Lamb New Zealand (B+LNZ) said any changes to the ownership and use of farmer data in Nait would need to be carefully considered.

''While most of the proposed changes are focused around improving the effectiveness of Nait, the proposal for the Crown to take ownership of Nait data is something that was not included in the initial Nait review,'' B+LNZ general manager of policy and advocacy Dave Harrison said.

''We look forward to the Government working closely with farmers to ensure these issues are addressed during the Select Committee process.''

Mr O'Connor said the initial focus of the biosecurity act review would be on economic outcomes such as response funding, compensation and on farm biosecurity practices.

He said the review would also look at issues that affect environmental, social and cultural outcomes over a longer timeframe, with a view to public consultation in the second half of 2020.

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