16 Aug 2012

Saleyard charge angers farming leader

2:04 pm on 16 August 2012

A Northland farming leader is angry that stock firms in the region are charging clients an extra 75 cent fee, plus GST, for every head of cattle traded in the saleyards.

Farmers of New Zealand Kaipara Branch chairman Hugh Rose says he first thought the new charge related to the National Animal Identification and Tracing Scheme which began on 1 July.

But he says a check with NAIT administration found that isn't the case, and stock firms have been told not to charge the fee in its name.

One of the stock firms, PGG Wrightson, considers the complaint from Farmers of New Zealand an isolated one.

Communications manager Brent Melville says since the NAIT scheme began six weeks ago, the company has been upfront with its clients about charges.

He says all companies which operate in saleyards charge a generic scanning fee to both vendors and purchasers of stock.

Mr Melville says the fee is charged back to the owners of the saleyards to cover the NAIT hardware, and any repairs and maintenace as well as the cost of the labour needed to run it.

A spokesperson for Elders New Zealand says farmers concerns are being taken seriously, and company representatives will meet in Hamilton tomorrow with PGG Wrightson to discuss the matter.