Animal Welfare

Animal Welfare

Animals play a key role in many New Zealanders' lives

They offer food and fibre, income and education, and New Zealanders have elevated expectations that animals under human care are well looked after. Our farmers have a powerful reputation that has secured access to international markets – something the NZ economy relies on. However, this is not always the case.  

Some farmers become overwhelmed and dis-stressed and resort to anger - lashing out or hitting the animals requiring local vet/SPCA/MPI become involved.  

Buying or selling calves? 

To ensure they can be traced, you must tag, and register in NAIT all newborn calves within 180 days of birth or before they first move off your farm — whichever comes first.
 

If you're buying calves

Confirm with the seller:

  • that they have completed an Animal Status Declaration (ASD) form — you'll receive this at the point of sale
  • that the calves are tagged and registered in NAIT
  • what their TB status is.

About tags and tagging

About ASDs

Moving animals from a Movement Control Area (MCA)

When the calves arrive on your property, you need to:

  • read their NAIT tag numbers, visually or with a scanner
  • confirm the receiving movement in NAIT within 48 hours, or create the receiving movement if the sender hasn't.

Recording animal movements

If you're selling calves

Before you send your calves off-farm, make sure they're tagged correctly and registered in NAIT. Calves usually have NAIT birth tags — using these in numerical order will make it easier to enter them in NAIT.

Buying tags

All calves must be:

  • tagged and registered before they are 180 days old or before they move off your farm for the first time — whichever comes first
  • registered in NAIT within 7 days of being tagged.

It's an offence not to tag and register your calves unless they are exempt from tagging. For example, bobby calves going directly to slaughter from the property they were born on don't need to be tagged. If they move to another property then you must tag and register them first.

About tags and tagging

Registering animals in NAIT

You also need to:

  • find out the NAIT location number of the buyer
  • prepare an ASD, which includes information about the TB status of your animals
  • create a sending movement in NAIT, within 48 hours of the day they were sent (if you're not selling through an accredited saleyard).

About ASDs

Recording animal movements

Selling through a saleyard

If you sell calves through an accredited saleyard they will create the sending movement in NAIT on your behalf. You must still make sure the calves are tagged and registered.

Selling to a meat processor

Bobby calves moved direct to slaughter are exempt from NAIT requirements to tag and register. Check with your meat processor about their requirements for accepting bobby calves.

Find an accredited organisation

Downloads

Calving Checklist
NAIT beef calf weaning checklist
NAIT tag and register guide

OSPRI - Phone 0800 482 263 for any questions or assistance.

Below are links to resources that support good husbandry. If you would like a Farmer Facilitator to work and support you in-confidence please contact your local trust.

Check out some useful articles about animal welfare:

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