Thursday, May 23, 2024

Taranaki farmer fined $21k after MPI prosecution

A Taranaki dairy and beef farmer who failed to register and declare the movements of hundreds of cattle into the National Animal Identification and Tracing (NAIT) system, has been fined $21,000.

Darrell Bernard Hickey, 60, was sentenced on four charges under the NAIT Act, in the Hawera District Court, following a successful prosecution by the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI).

“This was hundreds of animals, and it only takes one animal to potentially cause a biosecurity problem, as we have learned from our experience with Mycoplasma bovis,” says MPI regional manager animal welfare and NAIT compliance, Joanna Tuckwell.

Records showed that between August 2022 and October 2023, 142 of Mr Hickey’s cattle left three separate NAIT locations without being registered in the NAIT system. During the same period, Mr Hickey failed to declare the movement of 323 animals onto and off his NAIT locations.

Mr Hickey had been reminded about his NAIT obligations as early as 2019, along with being sent educational advice in 2020, a warning letter in 2020, and infringement notices in 2021 and 2022, said Ms Tuckwell.

“People in charge of animals must ensure they’ve tagged and registered their NAIT animals. If they’re going off-farm, or if the animals are coming onto the farm, they must declare these movements to NAIT within 48 hours.”

“The NAIT tag and registration system is only as effective as the information provided. If you are unsure about what you need to do, reach out. There is plenty of information, advice and support available,” she said.

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