NZ Moves Toward Animal Tracking
June 3, 2005
June 3, 2005 -- According to www.Stuff.co.nz, New Zealand is moving toward a scheme to trace the movements of every cattle beast and farmed deer.
The recent foot-and-mouth disease outbreak hoax on Waiheke Island has shone a spotlight on a group of scientists, farmers and officials who have been working on an individual animal identification scheme this year.
?The hoax highlighted the importance of knowing where your stock has been in the past 24 hours,? stated Chairman Jeff Grant, Meat and Wool New Zealand.
The ability to track animals during an outbreak would provide a savings in two areas: it would reduce the number of animals to be slaughtered as well as decrease the amount of time needed to return to trading.
Electronic ear tags for the eight million cattle in New Zealand would cost between $2.50 and $3 each, but Grant expected this cost to be halved as a traceability scheme meshed with other animal identification schemes.
?I get farmers complaining about this extra cost but there?s one simple answer to that: Just ask a Canadian if it is worth it,? Grant continued. It cost the Canadian beef industry $7 billion in lost trade in the past 18 months.
Traceability would not stop an outbreak.
?All it can be is a tool to mitigate the risk to our markets,? concluded Grant.
The group has ruled out including sheep in the plan until technology improves.
Full article from www.Stuff.co.nz