12 Oct 2010

MAF database to link with livestock tracing scheme

2:07 pm on 12 October 2010

An on-line farm information database will also have links to a proposed national livestock identification scheme farmers are still arguing over.

MAF Biosecurity's FarmsOnLine set-up will pull together rural property, land use and ownership information which at present is scattered over different government and industry databases.

The aim is to make essential information about farms and other properties more easily accessible to agencies involved in pest and disease control and dealing with other emergencies.

The FarmsOnLine database will be launched in March next year.

The National Animal Identification and Traceability scheme, designed to track livestock movements, is also due to be introduced next year for cattle farmers and in 2012 for deer farmers.

Some farmers still have issues with it, questioning the cost of the electronic ear tags they will have to use.

FarmsOnLine system design manager Clifton King says the databases will operate as separate systems, but will be able to share information.

FarmsOnLine will also include some data the Animal Health Board holds on beef and deer herds, for bovine TB control. It is in the process of contacting 80,000 herd owners to get their approval.

Mr King says the FarmsOnLine database will also extend beyond livestock.