DINZ news in brief 12 June 2020

DINZ news in brief 12 June 2020

Friday, June 12, 2020

Covid-19 Level 1 – but we’re still available to Zoom: After several weeks working remotely, DINZ staff are back in the office and face-to-face meetings have resumed.
One benefit of the lockdown is that we talked to a lot of industry folk on Zoom and realised how useful it can be. Sure, it doesn’t beat face-to-face, but it’s a cost-efficient way of communicating around the country. So, if you have a deer-related meeting and would like someone from DINZ or the NZDFA to contribute, how about inviting us to Zoom in? All our contacts are on the DINZ website here>>
Some Advance Parties (APs) and NZDFA branch committees are also continuing to have some Zoom meetings, especially if there are only a few items on the agenda. For the face-to-face meetings of APs, deer environment groups, workshops and other industry gatherings please continue to contact trace and practice good hygiene. And if you are entering the DINZ office please either scan the simpletrace QR code or sign the visitors' register.

Deer Industry Conference coming to your place: If you haven’t attended a Deer Industry Conference for a while because of the cost and time involved in getting away, well, there’s no excuses this year. When the 2020 conference was cancelled because of Covid-19 we decided to organise a virtual conference instead. 
The 2020 Virtual Deer Industry Conference is coming to you in three separate update sessions at 1.00 pm on 30 June, 7 July and 14 July. The DINZ team will report on activity for the year in short presentations, with time made available for Q&As. Sarah Perriam will direct proceedings as MC.
With running times of only 50–80 minutes, you should be able to easily fit each session into your working day but, if you can’t watch them live, the sessions will also be recorded and hosted on the DINZ website for viewing at any time. The links to join the presentations will be released soon.
Tuesday 30th June

1:00pm - Ian Walker: State of the Nation.
Join DINZ Chair Ian Walker for a live Q&A online. Ian will discuss the evolving issues affecting deer farming this year. Viewers can post questions during the presentation and Ian will be on-line to answer them, hosted by Sarah Perriam.
1:10pm - Ian and Sarah: Q&A
1:19pm - SESSION ENDS                 
1:20pm - Innes Moffat: The DINZ year
1:30pm - Innes and Sarah: Q&A
1:39pm - SESSION ENDS  
1:40pm - Tony Pearse: NZDFA
1:50pm - Tony and Sarah: Q&A
1:59pm - SESSION ENDS                 
2:00pm - Science, Jamie Ward: Carla
You've heard that selecting sires for Carla improves growth rates. Tune in to hear from Jamie Ward on the effect of Carla on the worm infection cycle and the dollars you can gain from Carla selection. Sharon McIntyre will join Jamie to answer your questions.
2:10pm - Jamie Ward and Sharon McIntyre: Q&A

Tuesday 7th July

1:00pm - Lindsay Fung: Environment
Demonstrating environmental stewardship is fast becoming the norm for pastoral farming in New Zealand. Deer farmers have had good recognition of this through several regional plans and environmental awards, but central government environmental policies will continue to focus attention on livestock farming.  FInd out what the industry is doing to ensure that deer farming remains a viable and sustainable land use in New Zealand.
1:10pm - Lindsay and Sarah: Q&A
1:20pm - Deer Industry Environment Groups      
1:24pm - SESSION ENDS                                 
1:25pm - Rhys Griffiths: Velvet Marketing
1:35pm - Ross Chambers, Tony Cochrane, Colin Stevenson: Q&A
1:44pm - SESSION ENDS                  
1:45pm - Phil McKenzie: Passion2Profit
1:50pm - Innovation group          
1:55pm - Rural Professionals      
2:00pm – Sarah: Q&A
2:10pm - SESSION ENDS  
Tuesday 14th July

1:00pm - Science, Velvet Composition
If you've been involved in velvet for a few years you'll have noticed that weights and grades have improved dramatically - but what about quality?  Jump onto this webinar to learn about the change in composition of NZ deer velvet over the last 30 years and whether there are significant differences between sticks from different farming systems. Come prepared to quiz NZ's leading velvet researcher, Dr Stephen Haines and the velvet marketing guru Rhys Griffiths on what the changes mean for your operation or your marketing.
1:10pm - Stephen Haines and Rhys Griffiths: Q&A
1:19pm - SESSION ENDS                                 
1:20pm - Nick Taylor: Venison
An update on the venison markets and promotional activities. Q&A session with venison marketing companies.
1:30pm - Nick and Sarah: Q&A
1:35pm - Venison Marketers: Q&A
1:50pm - SESSION ENDS               

Deer farming pioneer in Queen’s Birthday honours: Legendary Waikato deer farming pioneer Murray Powell is now an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to wildlife conservation and the deer industry.
Powell made a big impact on the early days of the deer industry, freely giving his time and advice to new deer farmers in the Waikato and nearby. He also helped set up one of the first branches of the NZDFA in Waikato. Its committee, under his leadership, established and ran the Deer Court at the National Fieldays in the 1980s which attracted many thousands of visitors. 
He and his late wife Gloria established the Hilldale Zoo and Wildlife Park in 1969, now the Hamilton Zoo, and made a significant investment in the zoo's development over the years. In 1976, they gifted the zoo to the Hamilton City Council, including all equipment and a total of 600 specimens. The zoo is now one of Hamilton's leading attractions with more than 140,000 visitors a year. It runs successful breeding programmes as well as conservation and research projects for both nationally and internationally endangered species.
"I feel greatly honoured myself, but I feel I'm receiving it in the name of everybody that has contributed to the zoo," he told Radio NZ. Look for more about the Powell’s contribution to the deer industry in the June issue of Deer Industry News.

Photo: Murray Powell pictured at a velvet competition in the 1980s

Don’t turn a blind eye to winter grazing issues: Rural people know that a photograph taken of stock in a muddy paddock seldom tells the full story. Nevertheless, these photographs may reflect real animal welfare or environmental issues, so DINZ and other primary sector bodies want to make sure any concerns are proactively addressed, and that any farmer needing advice or support gets it early.
If you become aware of a deer farmer with a winter grazing issue, please contact the DINZ producer manager Tony Pearse and he will work out the best way to respond, after talking with the local NZDFA. Tel 021 719 038. 
If the issue involves another class of livestock please go to the Federated Farmers website (fedfarm.org.nz – search ‘Winter grazing’), or call 0800 327 646.
Meanwhile, the Winter Grazing Action Group on which Pearse is represented, is taking forward the 11 recommendations from a minister-appointed taskforce. It is developing guidance for farmers on improved wintering systems which should be released early next week. As part of this awareness push DINZ has published a Deer Fact sheet ‘Intensive winter feeding’, which you will find enclosed in the June issue of Deer Industry News. A second Deer Fact ‘Planning for winter’ will be published in October.

New industry member of DINZ board: Nigel Jones, general manager strategy, Alliance Group, joins the DINZ board on 1 July as one of the board’s four venison company appointees. He replaces his Alliance colleague Danny Hailes, who is stepping down after nine years on the board.
Nigel joined Alliance Group in 2015 after 16 years in general manager roles in the primary sector including strategy, supply chain and logistics for Fonterra. He is involved in The Omega Lamb Project Primary Growth Partnership (Te Mana Lamb).
Hailes has written a guest editorial for the latest Deer Industry News, reflecting on his time with the board. It’s well worth a read >>


DINZ Director re-appointment: Tony Cochrane has been re-appointed as Director to DINZ for another three-year term. This Directors position is elected by voters from the Velvet Marketers, Deer Products Marketers and Processors group. Voting concluded at midday today.


We’re endeering ourselves to the public
: At least we hope so. In a UMR survey conducted in late April 63% of New Zealanders said they held a positive view of sheep and beef farming, up 9% on eight months before. At 60% positive, dairy farmers also enjoyed a 9% increase. Horticulture had the highest positive rating of 65%. UMR didn’t ask respondents what they thought of deer farming, but since most of us also run sheep, let’s share the warm glow of public approval.

Time to get your ducks in a row for velvetting 2020: If you’re a velvetter, you will have seen several big changes in velvetting rules and practices in the last few years. This year is different – there are no changes planned. The proposed new electronic ID tags will now be introduced in 2021/2022, not this season, which means you will still get the same blue wristband-type tags from your veterinarian that you used last season.
However a word of caution for any velvetter who has had an audit of their shed and has ‘actions’ to complete before it can be approved under the MPI Regulated Control Scheme (RCS). DINZ QA manager John Tacon says if your facilities have not been 'passed' before the velvet season begins, then you won't be legally able to sell velvet into the export food chain.
“If the facilities are not ‘passed’ then it is also illegal to sign a VSD. The only exception will be those facilities that the National Velvet Standards Body (NVSB) has officially listed as still waiting for an audit. Velvet buyers are very aware of all requirements under the RCS and will refuse to buy or uplift velvet from non-approved facilities this coming season. MPI compliance officers will also be checking velvet consignments at buyers’ premises to ensure all requirements are being met.”
If you have not yet had an RCS audit and you haven’t had notification from either the NVSB or an auditor, and you still wish to be able to sell velvet from your facilities then please contact Pam MacLeman pam.macleman@deernz.org or John Tacon john.tacon@deernz.org
NAIT doubles down on untagged animals: It is now (from 14 June) an offence for a transport operator to transport untagged cattle or deer, unless the animals are exempt. This law has been introduced to reduce the number of untagged animals being moved without any accountability
The offence does not apply to a transport operator carrying a paper or eASD declaration from the farmer that the animals being moved are tagged and registered in NAIT. Ospri says all farmers moving animals off-farm should be prepared to provide their transport operator with a paper or eASD declaration that animals are NAIT-compliant.
To avoid delays, OSPRI advises farmers to:

  • Check all animals are tagged and registered in NAIT
  • Declare any exempt animals in NAIT and ensure the animals are clearly marked
  • Fill in the declaration (paper or eASD) ready for your transporter to collect.

Tagging exemptions include:

  • Cattle and deer that the farmer (PICA) deems too dangerous to tag qualify for the unsafe to tag (UTT) exemption, provided they are going direct to slaughter. These animals are charged a UTT levy of $13 per head (excl. GST) by the meat processor
  • Fallow deer
  • Trophy stags that are going to a game estate, safari park or zoo
  • Fallow deer and trophy stags may move between farms, but an exempt animal movement must be recorded in the NAIT online system. The PICA must be registered in the NAIT online system and provide an annual tally of exempt animals at their location.