Deer joined the NAIT scheme on March 1, 2013. From that date, deer farmers, deer tag manufacturers, sale yards that deal with deer and meat works that slaughter deer were legally required to comply with the NAIT Act.
Tag retention in fallow deer is a recognised issue and these animals do not need to be tagged. However, fallow deer farmers must do the following;
- Register with NAIT
- Specify how many deer are on their property. These animal counts need to be updated annually in the NAIT system.
- A Person in Charge of Animals (PICA) sending fallow deer to any location must provide NAIT and the person receiving the animals, 48 hours before the movement occurs, with;
- their NAIT number
- the destination NAIT number
- the animal's approximate age, breed, gender
- the start date of the animal movement
- The receiving PICA must either confirm that the details provided by the sending PICA are correct OR provide the accurate information.
Both the sender and receiver's obligations can be met by using the NAIT system for free or by paper form for a fee.
Registration is open for people in charge of cattle and deer. Registration is very easy:
- Go to www.ospri.co.nz and register online.
- Contact NAIT for registration assistance by phoning 0800 624 843
- Use a NAIT accredited information provider to complete your registration for you.
When you register you will need to supply some personal information and details about your farm (s).
You will need to register for cattle and/or deer by supplying your AHB herd number at the time of registration.
- You can register both cattle and deer on the one property with a single NAIT number
- Or you can choose to register cattle and deer on separate NAIT numbers
- If you have two farms located within a maximum 20 km separation of each other a single NAIT number will cover both if you so choose
- If you have two or more farms widely separated you will need a NAIT registration number for each property
Once registered with NAIT number you will have the ability to register tagged animals (both cattle and deer with NAIT in advance of the mandatory date)
People in charge of cattle and deer will have to:
- Register with NAIT to get a NAIT number
- Identify every property on which they have cattle and deer they are in charge of
- Tag cattle and deer with NAIT-approved radio frequency identification device (RFlD] ear tags, and register those animals with NAIT
- Report to NAIT when cattle and deer are moved off-farm or received onto a property
- Report deaths, losses or live exports of cattle and deer
NAIT deer RFID tags are orange. Why? The sectors (beef catty, dairy and deer) agreed a funding formula shared between each to fund the direct costs of NAIT. Deer have a 2% share of this obligation.
Industry sectors established their portion of NAIT funding via different mechanisms depending on stakeholder direction.
The Deer Industry incorporated the 2% share (about $35K a quarter) within the DINZ general levy at slaughter and or on velvet at point of sale. The DINZ levy will be adjusted as required. Cattle on the other hand have opted for a shared levy basis of $1.10 per tag and $1.35 per head at slaughter.
To make this work farmers, processors and NAIT need a system to distinguish deer and cattle NAIT tags, so the RFID female part of the button which goes inside the ear is Orange. The Back Button (male part) can be any other colour. That tag will have the NAIT logo on it and the words "DO NOT REMOVE".
Deer and cattle NAIT tags can be placed in either left or right ear, although the right ear is still the recommended ear.
The placement and positioning for meeting the minimum NAIT specification retention rates (<1% loss per year per three years when correctly positioned) is critical and manufacturer’s instructions should be well understood and closely followed.
The orange female tag goes inside the ear with the coloured male tag to the back of the ear. The three companies Allfex, Leader and Zee Tag companies all produce approved NAIT complaint tags and applicators. Any deer leaving the property will be expected to be NAIT complaint whether direct to slaughter or by private sale or via sale yards.
An exemption for animals that are impractical to tag can be granted by NAIT on application, but will incur a fee (see the NAIT website for the most up-to-date cost). The message is that these animals really are an exception but NAIT does not want farmers taking any undue risk in tagging temperamental, dangerous or impractical to tag animals.
Currently the deer industry assisted by NAIT is in discussions with MAF to ensure the regulations being written to support the NAIT Bill legislation, which is clearly on track, having passed in entirety its third reading following the 2012 opening of Parliament.
Most of the regulations are generic but we are talking with MAF about two key objectives that deer farmers have on the whole requested as significant.
- Trophy Stags and the ability with agreement of the vendor and the purchaser and proof to NAIT that the trophy animal is being transported to a recognized registered Game Estate, that for safety and ease if tags are required to be removed by the game park operator or outfitter, that can be done on farm of origin prior to transport and NAIT notified that the movement has occurred.
- This is a voluntary exemption prompted by request from those that supply trophy stags where tags in ears are a mayor disadvantage in the trophy industry. We understand that that this is not always required.
- Fallow deer, an exemption for all fallow based on tagging difficulties and tag loss rate for lifetime application It's suggested that.
The fallow deer farmer seeks an exemption from NAIT from having to tag their fallow deer. This will be granted in writing advising:
- that the farmer does not need to tag their fallow deer.
- that the farmer must provide an annual stock of their fallow deer
- the length of the approval (which can be permanent or time limited)
- the PICA, when transferring fallow deer, completes their ASD; but is exempt (because the animal is not tagged) from completing a movement declaration.
- the processor slaughters the animal and advises NAIT that the animal has been killed and it is a fallow deer (not sure if this is possible). Accordingly there will be no need for a slaughter exemption levy to be issued.
Neither proposal is formally incorporated in regulations or rules as yet.
Impractical to tag animals
Some animals will be impractical to tag. For these animals there is a three-year tagging exemption if they are going direct to a venison processor and are already tagged with an official Animal Health Board (AHB) bar-coded panel tag. It is for the farmer to determine if the animal is impractical to tag.
A levy will be charged for animals using the impractical to tag exemption.
Tags on trophy stags may be removed without written permission from NAIT if sent to the game estate or safari park. The tag may be removed by the game estate operator or on the farm of origin if safer. NAIT must be informed about the tag removal and the change of the animal's location.
Tag retention of young fallow deer is a recognised management issue, and the farmers can apply to NAIT for permission not to tag fallow deer.
When moving fallow deer the person in charge of animals must provide details of the movement to NAIT. An annual stock-take of fallow deer must also be provided to NAIT