4 Mar 2013

Deer now in animal identification scheme

7:19 am on 4 March 2013

Deer farmers will have to start electronically tagging their animals from now on, as part of the national livestock identification and traceability (NAIT) scheme.

The programme was introduced for cattle last year and includes deer from March.

Farmers have to electronically tag deer within six months of birth and register them in the NAIT system within one week of being tagged so their movements can be recorded once they leave the farm.

National deer farmers chairman Chris Orange says they have had plenty of time to prepare and most are already familiar with the system because they also farm cattle.

He says some farmers have had NAIT tags in prior to this date and others have had the chance to get rid of stock.

Mr Orange says some farmers still view the tag system as just an extra cost, but others see it as a catalyst to introduce new technology which will allow them to get animal traits like growth and velvet weights computerised.