Waikato farmer fined almost $4000 for unregistered cattle

Farmers are being warned not to "take short cuts".
Farmers are being warned not to "take short cuts". Photo credit: File / Getty

A Waikato sheep and beef farmer has been fined $3900 for not registering 152 cattle.

Brian Anthony Murphy, 67, was sentenced in the Te Kuiti District Court earlier this week after pleading guilty to three charges of failing to register the cattle under the  National Animal Identification and Tracing (NAIT) scheme.

Gray Harrison, the national manager of Animal Welfare and NAIT Compliance at the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) said cattle registration was crucial for the sector.

"We certainly take it very seriously. Our ability to track and trace cattle and deer through the NAIT system is a critical factor in managing biosecurity threats which could have a devastating impact on New Zealand's agricultural sector," Harrison said.

"This latest sentencing follows a number of recent NAIT-related convictions. People who want to take short cuts need to be aware we will continue to identify and address non-compliance."

In July, Taupo dairy farm manager Raymond Griffin was fined $3600 for failing to register more than 1000 animals. A Northland deer farmer was also fined $3250 for failing to put NAIT tags on 70 of his deer.

"If you don't tag and register your cattle or deer in NAIT, the animal is not traceable and this has implications for managing disease outbreaks and our wider biosecurity capability," said Kevin Forward, OSPRI head of traceability.

"The absence of traceability may also impact on the value of the animal."

The maximum penalty for failing to register cattle is $100,000.