Dairy Farmers and NAIT


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Dairy farmers and NAIT Tips on registering Tagging requirements About NAIT

NAIT (National Animal Identification & Tracing) is New Zealand's system for tracking cattle and deer. This page explains the importance of NAIT in managing disease and ensuring food safety in the farming community. If you're in charge of cattle or deer, you must meet legal obligations like registering your farm, tagging and registering your animals with approved RFID tags, and recording all animal movements within 48 hours. Tips on registering and specific tagging requirements are also provided, making it easy for dairy farmers to comply with the NAIT scheme. 

NAIT (National Animal Identification & Tracing) is New Zealand’s animal identification and tracing system for cattle and deer.

NAIT provides New Zealand livestock owners, processors and government with current location, movement history and other useful information associated with traceability.

The system is a vital part of New Zealand’s ability to track animal movements and tackle diseases that threaten the farming community.

Dairy farmers and NAIT: What you need to do

All people in charge of cattle and deer need to meet their legal obligations under the NAIT scheme.

NAIT obligations for dairy farmers are:

  • Get your NAIT number by registering your farm or property with NAIT
  • Tag AND register your animals with NAIT approved RFID tags
  • Record all on and off-farm movements of animals with NAIT within 48 hours.

Tips on registering

  • You can get your NAIT number now. It’s a straightforward process that takes less than 10 minutes. Register for a NAIT number online here.
  • A NAIT number is required in addition to your Animal Health Board (AHB) herd number or dairy participant code.
  • When you register make sure you have your AHB herd number or dairy participant code handy - it will mean NAIT can link tags you've purchased using these numbers to your NAIT account.
  • If you need help the NAIT contact centre is available on 0800 624 843.
  • NAIT allows farmers to use an 'information provider' such as LIC to take care of your NAIT obligations. If you use an information provider, you still need to register with NAIT first and then 'opt in' to use the information provider.

Tagging requirements

  • All animals must be tagged with a NAIT approved RFID tag AND registered in the NAIT online system within 180 days of birth or before they move off farm, whichever comes first.
  • If using an information provider such as LIC or CRV Ambreed, the PICA will still need to check that the animal movements have synchronised through to their NAIT account before those animals move off farm.
  • Bobby calves need to be identified with a direct to slaughter tag issued by the meat-processing company, rather than a NAIT tag.
  • Cattle that the person in charge deems too dangerous to tag qualify for the unsafe to tag (UTT) exemption, but this is only provided if the animals are going direct to slaughter.
  • Note that it is an offence under the NAIT Act to remove a NAIT tag without permission from NAIT, or to alter or reuse a NAIT tag.

About NAIT

NAIT is a vital part of New Zealand’s farm system – allowing us to respond rapidly to food safety and biosecurity threats such as a disease outbreak, by being able to track animal movements and quickly find contain and control disease. Quicker containment means back to business sooner. It also responds to growing demands from consumers who expect greater traceability of the products they buy.

For more information visit the Ospri website.

Last updated: Aug 2023

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