The chief executive of a large Waikato farm business has been fined $3600 for failing to register 820 animals under the National Animal Identification and Tracing (NAIT) scheme.
Lochiel Farmlands Limited chief executive Kim Phillip Robinson, 65, faced four charges related to the offending and was sentenced in the Pukekohe District Court on Monday.
The farm manages about 3000 cattle as dry stock with its main operations being as a breeder and finisher of stock. AS chief executive, Robinson was responsible for the registration of the animals.
The NAIT scheme is used to track the movements of cattle and deer. Its use was critical in quickly responding to biosecurity outbreaks, Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) regional manager animal welfare and NAIT compliance, Brendon Mikkelsen said.
Robinson moved 820 unregistered NAIT animals off Lochiel Farmlands Limited to four meat processing facilities between February and early November 2019, Mikkelsen said.
"Despite previously being reminded of his obligations and being registered as the person in charge of the NAIT animals since 2012 at Lochiel Farmlands Limited, Mr Robinson failed to play his part to protect New Zealand's biosecurity."
MPI said Robinson's offending was found through an analysis of the NAIT database.
"Most people in charge of animals understand what is at stake and ensure they've registered NAIT animals. For those who don't, our message is that non-compliance will be found and dealt with," Mikkelsen said.
MPI encouraged farmers to remember their NAIT responsibilities when moving animals to other locations.
"MPI has processes in place that will alert NAIT officers if NAIT animals have not been registered – or if they have been moved without this being recorded in the NAIT system. MPI utilises this system every day, not just on Moving day," Mikkelsen said.
The National Animal Identification and Tracing (NAIT) programme records:
• The location and movement of individual animals.
• Contact details for the person in charge of an animal.
• In 2019, amendments to penalties in the NAIT Act increased the maximum penalty to $100,000, reflecting the importance of compliance.