3 Nov 2011

Indentification scheme frustrates farmers

6:38 am on 3 November 2011

Farmers say they are still struggling to understand how a new national livestock identification scheme will work when it begins operating next year.

Federated Farmers has consistently questioned the need for the scheme, which is designed to limit the trade impact of a disease outbreak by allowing stock to be traced back to their home farms.

Members at a Federated Farmers' Meat and Fibre council meeting in Wellington have voiced their frustrations at a lack of information.

The NAIT company is charged with bringing in the scheme, which requires farmers to put radio frequency ear tags on their dairy and beef cattle and register them under the scheme from July next year.

The programme will be extended to deer the following year but there are no plans to include sheep at this stage.

Jeanette Maxwell, the chair of the meat and fibre section, says several things have stemmed the flow of information.

"There is still a lot of information we don't know," she said.

"As soon as information comes to hand we can put it out," she said.