19 Mar 2009

Opposition to livestock tracing scheme outvoted

1:41 pm on 19 March 2009

Meat & Wool New Zealand levy payers are against calls to stop funding a national livestock traceability system and hold a referendum on the proposal.

A national animal identification and tracing system (NAIT) is proposed, which would involve compulsory electronic ear-tagging for cattle and deer by 2011.

Farmers at Meat & Wool's AGM voted strongly against remits from representatives of Federated Farmers, which is opposed to the plans.

Meat & Wool has spent almost $440,000 on NAIT over the past two years.

A proposal by the federation's dairy section chair, Lachlan McKenzie, to stop the spending was voted down by almost 4000 votes.

Another remit to support a referendum on NAIT, put forward by the federation's meat and fibre chair Bruce Wills, was also defeated by almost 4000 votes.

The NAIT group will hold a series of farmer meetings to demonstrate the electronic tagging technology, how it could be used for farm management, and the likely costs and benefits of it for different farms and sectors.

The first of these meetings will be held at the beginning of next month, in Greymouth.