Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Clipping the NAIT ticket

At Over the Fence the Ag Minister espouses his support for a National Animal Indentification Scheme (NAIT).

I remain unconvinced on NAIT. I see it as nothing but a ticket clippers paradise extracting a larger per head tax than done at present.

Currently cattle beasts in New Zealand require ID tags fitted to go to the works and each beast is charged an Animal Health Board tax on the kill sheet to support the meat inspectorate. All well and good. A beast at this point is traceable directly back to the farmer supplier.

Then the beast gets stunned and its head, complete with tags is lopped off. Here all traceability ends as the beast is ground into hamburger patties or is sliced and diced for your piece of the finest filet mignon.

NAIT wants some unproven tagging (RFID) mechanics to become mandatory. Various manufacturers are touting their product as NAIT saviours, none of them have been proven to reliable or cheap to implement. All for nil return to the farmer. To soothe the rabid greenie ferals overseas that their burger pattie can be traced all the way back to my paddock. Via the triply (or more) expensive RFID tags that parted company from the beast in the works front gate? Time for a Tui if you would believe that!

Biosecurity is often touted as a need for traceability. When your traceability ends at the works gate, this argument is pure bullshit.
Quarantining for foot and mouth must be immediate and enforced. If the current meat inspectorate is doing their job, such disease would never get past the works.

Other markets are doing NAIT? Again how does their traceability work when the tagged animal's head parted company from the carcass at the gate? Pull the other one and tell them to stop telling lies.

Till instantaneous DNA identification arrives, NAIT is nothing but another unwanted tax on the
farmer without any means of recovering that cost.

How NAIT could ever improve on the current well proven process is beyond me. NAIT in its soon to be mandatory current form is nothing but a ticket clippers wet dream.

No comments: