British Outbreak Reinforces Push For Traceability

NEW ZEALAND - Britain's foot-and-mouth outbreak highlights the need for better animal traceability on New Zealand farms, a rural leader says.
calendar icon 6 August 2007
clock icon 2 minute read
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Animal Identification and Tracing chairman Ian Corney, who farms near Taumarunui, said the outbreak on a Surrey farm would "focus the minds" of the group working on a national cattle tracing system.

The group plans to have a voluntary nationwide cattle database in place by 2008. Mr Corney said such a system would not prevent disease outbreaks, but would limit damage.

"An animal could have been sold at the Frankton sale on Friday and it could be anywhere today. If you had to follow the paper trail it could take a long time to track them down," he said.

"It's a matter of damage control. Once the outbreak starts spreading we could end up slaughtering tens of thousands of animals needlessly and even if such a system allows us to get back into the market only a day sooner it justifies the cost of it."

Dirk Sieling, who runs a dry stock farm near Paeroa and a dairy farm near Whitianga, doubted the British outbreak – would benefit New Zealand farmers.

"We don't want to be making money out of somebody else's misfortune. I feel very sorry for the farmers who are going to have their stock destroyed."

Mr Sieling said the British outbreak highlighted the need for increased biosecurity controls at New Zealand's borders. "It could be better than it is," he said.

Ngahinapouri dairy farmer Greg Glover said the British outbreak would only increase the global demand for dairy commodities. "Nobody wants to benefit from such a disaster," Mr Glover said.

Source: Waikato Times

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