Fears changes to NAIT could be too little too late to stop Mycoplasma bovis

  • 17/08/2018

There are fears renewed efforts to stamp out Mycoplasma bovis are too little too late.

Biosecurity Minister Damien O'Connor has announced changes will be made to the National Animal Identification and Tracing (NAIT) scheme, aiming to increase compliance with regulations.

These will strengthen the search powers within NAIT, require all animal movements to be registered within NAIT and hold to account those who fail to comply.

"A well-functioning NAIT is a key part of our efforts to protect our vital primary industries from pests and disease," Mr O'Connor said.

"Farmers and industry have been asking MPI to increase compliance so that people who are not complying can be held to account."

Mr O'Conner says compliance with NAIT has improved since April this year.

Waikato farmer Stu Husband supports the moves, but told Newshub it has been done too late.

"These law changes are great, but this should have been done years ago," he said

Mr Husband lost stock to tuberculosis and said everyone needs to follow the rules.

"Guys you have to report it, the rural support, all those networks [are] up and running and they're strong at the moment."

Mycoplasma bovis is going to be harder to track than other diseases, according to Mr Husband.

"The trouble is it's on a worse scale than TB because it spreads so easily."