DairyNZ has accepted the government's decision to amend the National Animal Identification and Tracing (NAIT) Act under urgency last week, chief executive Tim Mackle saying the changes allowed for warrantless farm inspections, clarified animal movement requirements, and would make it an offence not to record animal movements.
"It's become clear over the past year, as we deal with the fall out of Mycoplasma bovis, that some farmers haven't been taking the requirements to record animal movements through NAIT as seriously as they should have been," Dr Mackle said.
"We've always encouraged farmers to ensure they complete NAIT records, and the failure to do so has caused significant problems for the sector since M bovis was discovered in New Zealand last year. Legislated changes to the Act were clearly necessary.
"M bovis has proven just how difficult a disease like this can be for a herd, for the farming community, and for the wider economy.
"We support the government's decision to ensure the legislation is fit for purpose. Knowing where your cows have been is crucial to understanding and preventing the spread of any future disease."