The organisation implementing a new compulsory livestock identification and tracing scheme has confirmed it will take effect for cattle from July next year.
Mandatory tagging of cattle using radio frequency ear tags was due to start in November this year, but was delayed because the backing legislation will not be passed until after the general election.
The NAIT company says it will be writing to cattle and deer farmers next month to provide more detail, including plans for tag and slaughter levies to help pay for the programme.
Deer will will join the scheme from March 2013.
There are no plans to include sheep at this stage, but Agriculture Minister David Carter says the livestock industry will have to consider that at some point.
He told the red meat sector conference in Rotorua that compared with some countries, New Zealand is lagging behind on livestock traceability.