Note from Darol at http://www.NAISSTINKS.com  :

All nations are being squeezed by the WTO to ID all food animals. As this tax on farmers is being enforced it starts out as a simple economical process, all for the good of the farmer, either for disease tracing or export competition against other countries. This article shows how a greedy government will not stop choking their citizens. How would it feel to pay $43.63 per lamb in ID tag fees with ruthless corrupt government enforcements? Crazy you say — hello! Not just crazy, it is stealing all the profit farmers in New Zealand make, but the government feels no pain. Notice the last part — the government tells farmers “competing producers overseas already provide.” Not true. Not true at all! But each government is telling farmers that others are ahead so “pay-up now.”

This article is an example how government never stops inventing new fees. It will happen with ADT — if allowed.

Currently the USA is telling farmers Animal Disease Traceability (ADT) is imperative to compete in US beef exports, but facts are, the US beef producers has not fed the nation in 21 years and had to import 16% of the beef consumed last year. Why worry about exports? Is someone in government making some export/import bucks?

Still ticked about tags
Saturday, December 03, 2011 • Debbie Gregory — THE LISBORNE HERALD

A NEW levy to fund the National Animal Identification and Tracing (NAIT) scheme is unnecessary and yet another cost farmers have to bear, says Gisborne Wairoa Federated Farmers president Hamish Cave.

“It is just all too easy to keep asking farmers to pay,” he said.

Farmers are already paying a substantial amount on every cattle beast they send to the works.

“There is $11.40 to the Animal Health Board, $4.20 to Beef and Lamb and $20.70 for the Ministry of Agriculture inspection — That is $36.30 and then another $2.50 to NAIT as well as $4.83 for the new electronic tags is $43.63 — in my opinion that is far too much money to pay before we even get paid for the animal.”

The NAIT scheme is set to start on July 1 next year.

Mr Cave says to cut costs for farmers he would like to see NAIT combine with the AHB.

He accepts the benefits of electronic tagging but wants to see all parties working together for the best outcome for the farmer and the industry.

Mr Cave would also like to see Beef and Lamb New Zealand supporting NAIT financially.

“I know Beef and Lamb are doing a lot of other work but for their $4.20 per animal they could support this a bit, too.

“It’s too easy to keep asking farmers to pay.”

The need for an AHB tag and a new electronic tag was unnecessary cost, once again met by farmers, he says.

“In Australia they have 30 million cattle tagged and a 98 percent retention rate — as long as the tags are put in the right place in the ear, close to the head and when the animal is young, they stay in — so why two tags?”

Farmers in New Zealand could send cattle to sale or slaughter and should only have to pay for an EID button.

Animal Health Board spokesman Nick Hancox said it was the intention of the Government and the industry that NAIT and the AHB be brought together.

“However signals from the industry have been that that does not happen from the outset. Industry owners have indicated it would be best for NAIT to get through the establishment stage and sort out any teething problems before the two organisations could come together.”

The time frame would be likely a year, Mr Hancox said.

The need for two ear tags would also be phased out once NAIT and the AHB were sure it was working as required.

“In the early days of the system in Australia retention of tags was poor. As soon as the NAIT system is working as intended, the AHB tags will be phased out.”

Beef and Lamb chairman Mike Petersen said his organisation did not have any spare cash to volunteer to NAIT.

“The question is which extension programmes would farmers like us to cancel to have money for that. At the end of the day we don’t have a mandate to change what farmers want us to do with the levy money.”

Also, the proposed $2.50 levy was not totally paid on slaughter — about half was incorporated in the cost of a tag, said Mr Petersen.

NAIT was industry-owned and the screws were on to keep the costs as low as possible, he said.

NAIT is calling for submissions from farmers and lifestylers who manage cattle and deer so they get the opportunity to say what they think about the proposed levy system.

Cattle will be in from July 1 next year and deer join the scheme in March 2013.

The Government is funding the building of the NAIT database and a proportion of the scheme’s ongoing operational costs. The balance of operational costs will come from the industry through levies on cattle and deer farmers.

NAIT Limited Chief Executive Russell Burnard said the NAIT Bill currently before Parliament required the ongoing cost of running the NAIT scheme to be recovered.

“We have developed a cost- recovery model in consultation with our industry shareholders (Beef and Lamb New Zealand, DairyNZ, Deer Industry New Zealand).”

“After considering a number of options, we are proposing levies on tags and slaughter for cattle. Based on NAIT Limited’s projected costs, the proposed levy for cattle will be about $2.50 over the lifetime of the animal.

“With differences in the numbers of dairy and beef animals tagged and sent to slaughter, this will mean that the beef and dairy sectors will each pay in proportion to their shareholdings in the scheme.

“With deer, we have followed the Deer Industry New Zealand’s (DINZ) wishes and propose DINZ pays a collective contribution. This mirrors the deer industry’s current contribution to the TB control programme,” Mr Burnard said.

The NAIT scheme would enable animals to be traced quickly and reliably from birth to death or live export.

Information on the location and movement history of animals was essential to ensure a rapid response to a biosecurity outbreak, or contamination of an animal-based food product.

“Improved animal identification and traceability will provide our export markets with assurances around the sourcing of New Zealand’s animal-based food products — assurances competing producers overseas already provide,” Mr Burnard said.

People interested in making a submission have until 23 December to do so. The consultation document is at: http://www.nait.co.nz