National Animal Identification and Tracing (NAIT)

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11 years 10 months ago #346559 by Ronney

PeterNZ;335709 wrote: I was thinking again about this. And I was wondering what actually my problem is. My problem is that I just feel uncomfortable that the government collects more and more data about me and my life. This is my main issue. Can you understand that? I hope so. And on top of that I do not see any benefit. Sorry!

I just don't trust the government. And I do not believe that they have anything in mind which will help me or people like me. Too many things just benefit the big industries. So why the hell do I have to put up with it.

So what's next? FarmOnline is on the horizon. What is that then? Collecting data about my property, the purpose of my business ect. Great.Next thing we need to register our apple trees. There are diseases which spread form tree to tree. And how many kg of fruit we collect. And we need to count the eggs we get. And so on.

I know Isla this might sound cynical. But me as a person and an individual , I am scared of this. And most people just follow the herd so to speak. Nobody is asking any questions. And why would they, nobody cares about our questions.

I get frustrated meanwhile by the amount of regulations and rules. You can't do anything without being registered, having a license and getting government approval. Where does this end?

Cheers

Peter


Thankyou Peter. Had I not been so tired last night, as well as leave it until the end of the day before I start thinking about things, I would have said the same thing. This is something that has been worrying me for well over 20 years and even more so in recent years with the huge momentum forward in technology - because none of this would be possible without the advent of computers.

But it really crashed home with the law regarding the microchiping of dogs. It was the beginning of the end. A law passed under the guise that it was going to stop dogs attacking people. Even a cretin could see through that but it was passed anyway. The microchiping of dogs is neither here nor there, the real point is that it is the thin end of the wedge and where does it stop. It doesn't.

Now we have the microchiping of every cattle beast we all own with the possibility of the same for 38 million sheep. Apart from the logistics of keeping a database up for 38 million sheep, 4 million beef cattle and 5 million dairy cows (2008 figures), not to mention their progeny, and the huge cost of doing so, Peter is right - too much information in the wrong hands and the government is the wrong hands. We already have a draconion govt dept. called the Tax Dept that has access to your bank accounts and anything else you might be doing. Now we're being inveigled into believing that another dept can and should have the same rights. My home was my castle, now it belongs to everybody else as well. I can go to the council and get photos of my property - and yours. Who gave anybody the right to take these?

Peter, probably before your time in this country, NZ had a reputation of being entreprenerial (sp?). People invented, they did, they manufactured, they used their imaginations, they made a good living out of it and introduced to the rest of the world things that are now taken for granted - the Hamilton jet, calfaterias, electric fencing, top dressing. They had one of the best in the world in social services and the 3rd highest standard of living in the world. Then they got PC and introduced RMA, OSH, and more rules and regulations than you can poke a stick at. We stopped inventing, we stopped manufacturing, we stopped using imaginations, we stopped doing because the cost of doing in terms of money, time, effort and stress wasn't worth the effort. Along the way our social services turned into a disaster area and we dropped to being the 29th in terms of standards of living. And that is in my lifetime.

I run into a bloke at the supermarket (aka Jeffies thread on his GF) who has spent something like 10 years in your homeland. He and his partner have come back home to live but is appalled at the track NZ is taking. He can't believe, that as a country, we are rushing headlong down a road that other countries have tried and given up on because these bright schemes don't work.

Stikkibeek;335784 wrote: Isla wrote:

I seriously doubt that given the size of some of those big cattle stations that missing cattle that might have fallen over a cliff would ever be found. Those cattle are mustered from the high country towards the end of summer and a beast that died in the high country in early summer would not have much left of it to be found. Even if it could be, the farmer is not likely to make a special effort to locate it. Those big stations are hardly the same as strolling around a few hundred acres to check stock, but that doesn't make the farmer/manager a negligent farmer, who ought to be doing something other than farming.


Stikki, you are so right.

Cheers,
Ronnie

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11 years 10 months ago #346562 by Mich
Hi Peter and Ronnie - you're not alone in your concerns about how much information is circulating about each of us. I share them. Mind you, in some respects we don't help ourselves by the willingness with which we share information on social networking sites and forums [;)] But in regard to the amount of information that is collected by government agencies, I do worry that we're being regulated to death and so much of our lives is open to others with no real control on what that information might be used for. From a Christian perspective, I have my own views on why this is happening, but in a wider sense I just get sick and tired of the general lack of privacy and it makes me feel somewhat violated. As several TV programmes have demonstrated, it's not hard to build up a pretty complete picture about each of us just by what information is publicly available.

Re the tagging of our livestock, I can see the benefits, but I can't see such a database as ever being complete or accurate, although in the event of a major incident like F&M some information is better than no information.

Just the times in which we live, I guess.
Cheers, Mich.

Good exercise for the heart is to bend down and help someone up. Anon.

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11 years 10 months ago #346576 by PeterNZ
I am probably a bit more sensitive than many here. We came from a country who are the inventors of red tape! Just some examples:
  • Germany requires a passport for every animal. This passport has to accompany the animal at all times.
  • Germany requires you to sit a test and pass an exam to get an Animal Transport License so that you can drive your goat from your lifestyleblock to the vet
  • In Austria you are not even allowed to buy a farm if you don't have an educational training in Agriculture. We had WWOOFers here who had to study agriculture to get the farm they inherited from their grandfather. Or employ a trained farm manager.
  • My wife a trained dressmaker and textile technician was not allowed to open a business in her area of expertise because she wasn't approved by the Dressmakers Guild (about $20,000 10 years ago). But a French dressmaker could open a branch in our country and call themselves designer.
  • If you loose your job in Germany the government will tell you exactly how much money you can make selling your car, your jewelery, your antique furniture etc. (All in the insurance policies I guess) They take this amount of money and subtract it from your benefit payments. They can come to your house anytime and search for valuables you can sell. A friend of mine carted everything to his mums house. Flat screen TV, stamp collection from his grandfather etc.
In this country here, which I dearly love and which is now my homecountry. And I say this without any hesitation! In this country I am not allowed to give my neighbor a piece of our cheese without breaking a law. If I get caught having a homebrewed beer with my neighbor I break the law, too. Every morning I have the luxury of milking Louise and get a bucket full of the most wonderful creamy milk which smells so sweet that I want to drink it directly out of the milking bucket. Which btw I am still allowed to do! [;)] Hurray! This sweet creamy milk is regarded by the NZ food police as one of the most dangerous stuff. It must be! It is more dangerous than cigarettes. You can buy cigarettes in every supermarket!

To store 20 gram tubes of freeze dried cheese cultures which I sell in a freezer I need a licensed food premise. And don't think I can now make my beer in there! No, the food premise is only allowed to be used for my business purposes. So I have a stainless steel shiny kitchen, all licensed and all I use is the freezer in there!

The food police was even quote certain (but wrongly so as it later showed) that I am not allowed to make cheese for my own consumption from my own unpasteurized milk!

And don't get me started on butchering animals!

One of my all time favorite post here on this forum which I still reference from time to time is Gaalburns experience with a food auditor. Have a read here: The cost of enterprise if you....... . Are you still around gaalburn? I wonder how you get on. Are you still in business?

Our friends gave up with their cheese business because in the end the council didn't give them the license because the milking shed was 3 meters too close to the neighbors property!

We would love to sell dairy products we make ourself. Because they are a million times better tan what yo get in the supermarket! And healthier! But we don't even think of getting into this. Dreaming - yes. Of course,the government says "Nobody forbids you to do all this - as long as you follow the rules". Thank you!

Sorry the list goes on and on and on. And now we are registering cattle. Yes I see some benefits, I don't want to dispute that. It might even be necessary! Although, we are preparing for a potential risk here. Yes I know better be save than sorry. But we (as in "humans") also killed thousands of pigs because some idiot called an epidemic flu outbreak "Swine Flu" for the only reason that it seemed to have come from a place with big pig farms. This was excuse enough - and now I am starting to speculate - for some big pork farmers to put pressure on the government to either slaughter pigs of smaller farms or force them to implement expensive methods of sanitation. Which the big pork factories of course could afford. They killed over 6000 pigs in Egypt just because of the reason that Muslims don't eat pork and the pigs belonged to Christians. So the government had an excuse to kick the Christians bums and kill their livelihood. It was never proven that the flu had anything to do with pigs!

But all the above shows to me that this will not be the end of it.

Sorry for the rant, I am reading too many books recently by Michael Pollan, Eric Schlosser, Joel Salatin and Carlo Petrini.

BTW, I am not only reading a lot about the western food and agricultural system, I am also following a couple of podcasts about the topic. And to be honest, since most of them are from the US I get the feeling that there are many areas in the US where things are actually easier! For example selling home made cheese. I think the US recognizes small farmers more than NZ does. But that's just my feeling I get from the distance.

Cheers

Peter


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11 years 10 months ago #346584 by PeterNZ
Sorry me again! [:I] Just for some entertainment. I came across a document which lists the checks an agriculture inspector can (and as I know them is just more than happy to ) do on your farm back in Germany.

INVEKOS Area Control
Cross Compliance Control which splits into
Environment
  • Erosion control - requirement is that a minimum of 40% of your farm land has to be covered by plants between 1st of December and 15th of February
  • Maintaining soil organisms and soil structure - You are required to grow at least three different plant types which have to belong to different plant type categories. In case of non-compliance you can avoid a fine by getting a lab doing a soil test
  • Compliant with fallow area requirements.You need to apply minimum maintenance to fallow areas like mulching, mowing but not between 1st of April and 30iest of June
  • Bird protection regulations
  • Water security - the check if your oil, petrol etc is stored securely
  • Nitrate requirements - without going too much into details (there are too many of them) you need to have a documentation of your soil fertility. So you are basically forced to have soil test done.
  • Agri Chemical license. Yes you are not allowed to even buy or possess agri-chemicals if you don't have a license. (Another course - another exam). And by the way this includes stuff like RoundUp
  • Phosphate - see nitrate
Animal tagging and ID
  • Cattle - check animal numbers and individual animals against database. Check animal passports
  • Pigs - see cattle
  • Sheep/Goats - see cattle plus check mandatory tatoo
Food and Livestock Food security
  • General requirements - Check storage,appliances, Storage and Transport containers and vehicles which can potentially come in contact with food and livestock food. Check waste control. Check used vendors and receivers (buyers) of food and livestock food using invoices.
  • special requirements for livestock food producers - Documentation of all pesticides used, documentation of all GMO used , water quality, check for banned food products
  • special requirements for food from plants - documentation of all pesticides used
  • special requirements for food from animals - Documentation of all vet medicine used (you need to have a book where everything is entered plus vet bills and forms), Documentation of all examinations by vets or governmental institutions
  • Milkproduktion - Pest control, distance from animal sheds and cooling system of storage facilities, surfaces must be easily cleaned and sanitized, storage procedure after milking, facilities for staff to wash (showers etc), Documentation of milk inspections
  • Eggproduction - storage facilities (clean, dry, constant temperature), protection of eggs from odors, moisture and sun
This is only a summary! [xx(]

Cheers

Peter


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11 years 10 months ago #346588 by Isla

Stikkibeek;335784 wrote: I seriously doubt that given the size of some of those big cattle stations that missing cattle that might have fallen over a cliff would ever be found. Those cattle are mustered from the high country towards the end of summer and a beast that died in the high country in early summer would not have much left of it to be found. Even if it could be, the farmer is not likely to make a special effort to locate it. Those big stations are hardly the same as strolling around a few hundred acres to check stock, but that doesn't make the farmer/manager a negligent farmer, who ought to be doing something other than farming.

That was not the situation I particularly had in mind when I gave that example. (For a dying cow in a gully, the experience is no doubt the same, but that's a different discussion.)

Ronney;335801 wrote: Stikki, you are so right.

I'll just sod off then.

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11 years 10 months ago #346593 by powerguy
I share the concerns about the guvmint getting too much info about us. Years ago, when getting into TB testing, the tester wanted to know how many goats we had, how much pine forest etc. I wondered why they wanted all this information. Now we have an ETS and my carbon credits have been assumed by the guvmint and if I want them I have to apply.

My cattle have a tag with a bar code on it. What difference is there between scanning a bar code and scanning a chip tag? The info is there but the bar code is a lower cost to me and I don't have to change anything. The scan has to be matched up with a carcass once the tag is removed, regardless of the technology.

All I see is bunch of bureaucrats creating another system that we have to pay for so they can get a bigger department and more responsibility (read salary).

And what happens during an emergency? The guvmint throws out the rules and passes legislation making decisions that are made by bodies in control unchallengeable in court! See what has happened in Chch with regard to the commission that has been established to oversee the rebuilding. If they want to knock down a structure, no-one can stop it. So, translate that to F&M outbreak - some bunch that has probably never been on a farm will make decisions about your life which you can not question, all in "the greater good". That smacks of a certain political philosophy which has been shown does not work "for the greater good", only the good of the political elite.

More and more regulation does nothing but stifle enterprise by increasing costs. This whole matter is unnecessary and I do not believe it is being driven by markets at all. It is all about structure and control, control over more and more of the ones that are not tied into supply systems and dependent on outside sources.

Cities can be controlled by turning off the supply of power, water and food. Rural folk are the threat because we can carry on without relying on outside supplies. Answer - control us through regulation. Do I trust the guvmint and bureaucrats - NO WAY!

And yeah, I am paranoid but when the SHTF, the paranoid survive!

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11 years 10 months ago #346603 by sod
Mich I have same ideas as you same reason! Ronney and Powerguy I can't see why the tagging we have now can't be fixed to work but guess thats too easy, cheap and want employ more pen pushers/cost for no return.

Having time is a measure of enthusiasm:rolleyes:

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11 years 10 months ago #346615 by Sue

I can't see why the tagging we have now can't be fixed to work but guess thats too easy,


My thoughts as well, as the barcode on the tag was meant to serve the same purpose but I seem to remember it was something to do with the differences between readers for bar codes and electronic chips and the fact that the electronic tags can be read in all sorts of other places like farms and saleyards as well and can so track the animals movements during it's life rather than just at the end.

UK already has cattle passports and has had them for a number of years. I have copies of them and have spoken to people who have to use them. I must say our system sounds a lot simpler that the UK one. No filling out forms every time an animal moves-although I believe it can be done on line too.

The present system is let down by the people that still dont comply even though it has been going on for 12 years. I can see the NAIT system having the same problems.

As for the odd animal that dies out on the hill, or down a hole. It isn't going to cause a problem in the export meat market-tagged or not. It's the ones that move around that are the problems!

Also as for MAF and the way they deal with disease outbreaks-I have been involved with 'exotic disease control' through working in the commercial poultry industry and helping to write up the protocols etc. We had several meetings with MAF people who already had protocol for animal disease outbreaks like Foot and Mouth and so it was interesting trying to align the approach to different species.

Yes it is vital that the authorities know where various stock lives for just such an eventuality. Our local MAF, now Asurequality guy, who also did the TB testing had lists of all the local farms and what stock was there and poultry were included on his check lists for the Poultry Exotic disease emergency. Even if a farm only has 6 chooks in the farmyard they were noted. I had to fill the forms for the 7 large Poultry breeding farms I managed, but also had to include the few sheep that grazed around the sheds.

I don't see anything wrong at all with the authorities being prepared enough to act quickly in an emergency, be it flood, disease or earthquake!

You may not have thought of the implications of what happens when a disease emergency is declared but it takes a lot of preparation.

The first act is isolation waiting for diagnosis to be confirmed. Cordons are put up around the affected property and all movements stopped at once. Diagnosis may take several days so things are swung into action in the meeantime. Fencing, mobile showers for personel, checking records for where stock(including eggs!) may have been shifted to in the previous days. The disposal plan is actioned, where are holes dug (yes they have soil profiles for each location) can diggers be mobilised, is there sufficent protective clothing, disinfectant etc. Then the door to door search for sick livestock. Often a 5km radius around the affected place may be a no go area and compulsoty slaughter is advised. Sometimes if it looks bad enough the sick animals will be killed before the diagnosis is confirmed. I know of cases where it has happened and the disease was a false alarm. It happens!

OK I digress a bit, but I see no problem in a system put there to assist the farmers business, but I see the failure is more likely to come from the people who don't care or who refuse to comply because of some personal objection instead of making a constructive suggestions on how it could work! ;-)

I also believe that possibly exotic disease outbreaks may also originate in the sort of places where the same attitude to compliance is slack. In these cases it would take even longer and spread further before action can be taken to control it-and the whole country would be in the proverbial poo!

Sue
Labrador lover for yonks, breeder of pedigree Murray Grey cattle for almost as long, and passionate poultry person for more years than I care to count.

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11 years 10 months ago #346632 by igor
Peter, I hear what you are saying and I think I understand why you left your home country.
My sister-in-law and her English husband live near Munich. She has told us many stories of regulations that make little sense and merely serve to reinforce the negative stereotype of the efficient German travelling the world with his rule book in hand and consulting said rule book at every step then becoming confused if there is not a rule for the situation he finds himself in.

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11 years 10 months ago #346646 by Jack
Gidday

All this crapn has nothing to do with animals or animal disease. If it did there would be a hellava lot more effort put into boarder control and much bigger fines than a piddly 200 bucks.

It is all testing to bring in the NHIT and it is not too far away.

NHIT is simply National Human Identification and Tracing. Oufr governments since 1975 have been working towards this, that is why we have had so much political ambiguity lately.

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11 years 10 months ago #346697 by powerguy
I'm with you on this one Jack!

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11 years 10 months ago #346707 by Ronney
And so am I hence my comment that the microciping of dogs was the thin end of the wedge, although I have no doubt that many will just think we're a bunch of old cynics.

Sue, while on one level what your saying makes sense, on another it is akin to closing the stable door after the horse has bolted and to that end, in my opinion, Jack is quite right. We must be one of the few countries in the world with limited disease and certainly no F&M and yet we have an incredibly sloppy border control. When that disease hits this country it is almost guarnanteed that it will come via Asia rather than Europe and at this point, Asians make up a large part of our visitor numbers. They are also very good at trying to sneak in food that is not permissable despite all the warnings not to. The food is confiscated, they are given a $250 fine and told to enjoy their holiday! I see no deterrent in that whatsoever. How about a $2,500 fine and a seat on the next plane out of the country to make it a very expensive non-holiday. Indonesia hands out the death penalty to those that persist in importing drugs and yet we're happy to help people bring in diseases that could affect our whole economy.

Cheers,
Ronnie

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11 years 10 months ago #346721 by Jack
Gidday

No Ronney, a $10000 fine, all their belongings straight into the furnace and put them on the next plane out to anywhere. That is if we are serious about keeping those diseases out, but we are not.

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11 years 10 months ago #346741 by igor
Damn right Jack. We need real border control. Being surrounded by sea gives us a huge advantage here and we should make use of it to the utmost extent. As well as sending them out immediately like you say we should then blacklist them for life.
Aussie is the same. The first time I went to Sydney I could have carried anything in. I went through gate after gate thinking, "where is the inspection?", then there was our mate asking me what kind of beer do I like. Into the car and off to the bottle store. All we got going through the airport was a stamp on our passports. No inspection at all. Might be a bit tougher there now but you get the idea.

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11 years 10 months ago #346748 by Sue
...and I agree with all your statements re slack border control too. Yes the $200 fine is peanuts! I can't believe all that food stuff that they (mainly Asians) try to get into the country and all they get is a slap on the hand and a warning that next time they might get a fine!

I know that a disease like Salmonella Enterididis-the one that caused all the scare over egg mayonaise etc in the UK some years ago, could so easily get into the country, along with the other exotic disease we are lucky enough not to have-YET!

It could arrive as easy as someone chucking out an old meat or egg sandwich containing the bug out of a car window or into a wayside rubbish tin (yes where all those dumped chickens live) and then gets carried back to someones home and before you know it-disease outbreak of exotic stuff we've never had before!

BUT.... we still need to be able to control the disease when it gets here, so knowing where the stock is and how many, goes some way toward assisting this.

Yes Ronney, totaly agree about the micro chipping of dogs. The targeted ones are the ones that don't bother to comply anyway, but there again, if they are not microchipped then they are likely to be the dangerous ones-so if caught can be disposed of without question!

Might be the same with cattle without the proper tags, they are just not allowed to enter the food chain by being sold publicly but if they are born on farm, grow up and meet the home freezer then so be it. It is the ones that move around the sales and to other farms that need to be followed and traced.
As I said before, circumstances change and while the LSB'r with 2 or 3 calves for the home freezer may have to sell due to lack of feed, selling the property, etc etc and they are not tagged-so legally they cannot go on a truck or be sold in the saleyards or go to the works. How much less hassle it would be to put in a $4 ear tag when they are small!

Sue
Labrador lover for yonks, breeder of pedigree Murray Grey cattle for almost as long, and passionate poultry person for more years than I care to count.

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