New Zealand Fallow Deer Society

A Resource for Fallow Deer Farmers

NAIT Mandatory from 1 March
Special rules or fallow deer

Deer join the NAIT scheme on March 1, 2013. From this date, deer farmers, deer tag manufacturers, sale yards that deal with deer and meat works that slaughter deer will be legally required to comply with the NAIT Act.

NAIT is working closely withe these groups to make sure that they understand these obligations and provide data to NAIT in accordance with the NAIT rules and regulations.
Tag retention in fallow deer is a recognised issue and these animals do not need to be tagged. However, fallow deer farmers must do the following;

1. Register with NAIT
2. Specify how many deer are on their property. These animal counts need to be updated annually in the NAIT system.
3. A Person in Charge of Animals (PICA) sending fallow deer to any location must provide NAIT and the person receiving the animals, 48 hours before the movement occurs, with;
- their NAIT number
- the destination NAIT number
- the animal's approximate age, breed, gender
- the start date of the animal movement
4. The receiving PICA must either confirm that the details provided by the sending PICA are correct OR provide the accurate information.

Both the sender and receiver's obligations can be met by using the NAIT system for free or by paper form for a fee of $20.00



While deer will join the NAIT scheme until the mandatory date, 1 March 1013, from now, registration is open for
people in charge of cattle and deer in anticipation. 
Registration is very easy:
Go to and register online.
Contact NAIT for registration assistance by phoning 0800 624 843
Use a NAIT accredited information provider to complete your registration for you.

When you register you will need to supply some personal information and details about your farm (s).
You will need to register for cattle and/or deer by supplying your AHB herd number at the time of registration.
• You can register both cattle and deer on the one property with a single NAIT number 
• Or you can choose to register cattle and deer on separate NAIT numbers
• If you have two farms located within a maximum 20 km separation of each other a single NAIT number will cover both if you so choose
• If you have two or more farms widely separated you will need a NAIT registration number for each property 
Once registered with NAIT number you will have the ability to register tagged animals (both cattle and deer with NAIT in advance of the mandatory date)

When the NAIT scheme is mandatory, people in charge of cattle and deer will have to:
Register with NAIT to get a NAIT number
Identify every property on which they have cattle and deer they are in charge of
Tag cattle and deer with NAIT-approved radio frequency identification device (RFlD] ear tags, and register those animals with NAlT

Report to NAIT when cattle and deer are moved off-farm or received onto a property
Report deaths, losses or live exports of cattle and deer

NAIT tags for deer

It's now Orange for NAIT deer RFID tags.
From now on you must request orange RFID NAIT tags
Why? The sectors (beef catty, dairy and deer) have an agreed funding formula shared between each to fund the direct costs of NAiT. Deer have a 2% share of this
The sectors have tried to establish a fair and equitable funding arrangement based on potential mechanisms for collection including potentially a levy on tags,
slaughter levy, property charge etc.

The Deer industry led by a DFA direction from their AGM and a view from DINZ that each sector should determine its own method of recovery and payment of costs have decided against a mix of tag levy and slaughter recovery and will incorporate the 2% share (about $35K a quarter) within the DINZ general levy at slaughter and or on velvet at point of sale. In effect this will he approximately $0.35 per head.( 35 cents per head at the current slaughter rate of "400k head per year) The DiNZ levy will he adjusted as required and will be about 0.6 cents a kg on venison)
Cattle on the other hand have opted for a shared levy basis of $1.10 per tag and $1.35 per head at slaughter.

To make this work farmers, processors and NAIT need a system to distinguish deer and cattle NAIT tags, so the RFID female part of the button which goes inside the ear is Orange from the start of this year. The Back Button (male part) can be any other colour but for reasons that don't particularly make sense to the DFA, not white. We will be further discussing that. Your tag company however may not offer all colours in their usual range if it is not an economic choice for them, so you will have to discuss this with the company. 
That tag will have the NAiT logo on it and the words "DO NOT REMOVE"
General guide tan tagging rules and advice
lf your deer have already been tagged with white tags before 1st January, 2012 they will still be fully NAlT compliant, and you will have not paid extra for them ( l.e the beef and dairy cattle tag levy)

lf you tag a deer with a white cattle NAIT tag from now on it will cost you an additional $1.10 per tag as a royalty to NAIT until 1st July 2012 and from then on it will be a formal levy at $1.10 per tag. NAlT has no systems in place to refund any mistaken levy paid.
NAlT have also advised there will be no exceptions made for cattle farmers who put orange deer tags into cattle by mistake or as a means to avoid paying the royalty/levy. The PlCA for cattle tagged with orange NAIT tags will be considered to have infringed the rules and there may be some sort of penalty charged, and the cattle tag levy will also be recovered and may incur additional administration costs.
Deer and cattle NAlT tags can be placed in either left or right ear, although the right ear is still the recommended ear.
The placement and positioning for meeting the minimum NAIT specification retention rates (<1% loss per yearner three years when correctly positioned) is critical and manufacturers instructions should be well understood and closely followed.

The orange female tag goes inside the ear with the colored male tag to the back of the ear.
The three companies Allfex, Leader and Zee Tag companies all produce approved NAlT complaint tags and applicators
From the time NAlT goes mandatory for deer (1" March 2013] the following will apply;
All newborn deer from 1“ March 2013 ( assumes those from the 2012/13 calving season) will be required to have been tagged NAlT compliant within 180 days of birth

There will be a three year period for all existing capital stock on farm to be tagged with NAlT tags
From 1st March 2013, any deer leaving the property will be expected to be NAlT complaint whether direct toslaughter or by private sale or via sale yards

An exemption for animals that are impractical to tag can be granted by NAlT on application, but will incur a fee initially proposed at $13/head, rising to a suggested $20/head over the three years of transition and beyond as required. The message is that these animals really are an exception but NAlT does not want farmers taking any undue risk in tagging temperamental, dangerous or impractical to tag animals

Further Developments
Currently the deer industry assisted by NAIT is in discussions with MAF to ensure the regulations being written to support the NAIT Bill legislation , which is cieariy on track, having passed in entirety its third reading following the 2012 opening of Pariiament last week. 
Most of the regulations are generic but we are talking with MAF about two key objectives that deer farmers have on the whole requested as significant.

These are
- Trophy Stags and the ability with agreement of the vendor and the purchaser and proof to NAIT that the trophy animal is being transported to a recognized registered Game Estate, that for safety and ease if tags are required to be removed by the game park operator or outfitter, that can be done on farm of origin prior to transport and NAiT notified that the movement has occurred.
- This is a voluntary exemption prompted by request from those that supply trophy stags where tags in ears are a mayor disadvantage in the trophy industry. We understand that that this is not always required.
- Fallow deer, an exemption for all fallow based on tagging difficulties and tag loss rate for lifetime application It's suggested that.

The fallow deer farmer seeks an exemption from NAIT from having to tag their fallow deer
This will be granted in writing advising
- that the farmer does not need to tag their fallow deer.
- that the farmer must provide an annual stock of their fallow deer
- the length of the approval (which can be permanent or time limited)
- the PICA, when transferring fallow deer, completes their ASD; but is exempt (because the animal is not tagged) from completing a movement declaration.
- the processor slaughters the animal and advises NAIT that the animal has been killed and it is a fallow deer (not sure if this is possible). Accordingly there will be no need for a slaughter exemption levy to be issued.
Neither proposal is formally incorporated in regulations or rules as yet.
Feedback is invited to Phone: 021 719 038

Tagging Exemption

Impractical to tag animals
Some animals born before 1 march 2013 will be impractical to tag. For these animals there is a three-year tagging exemption if they are going direct to a venison processor and are already tagged with an official Animal Health Board (AHB) bar-coded panel tag. It is for the farmer to determine if the animal is impractical to tag.
If you can tag an animal before it goes to a processor, use a NAIT tag. From March 1 2013 AHB direct-to-slaughter tags will no longer be accepted.

A levy will be charged for animals using the impractical to tag exemption. For the year ending 28 February 2014, the levy for deer as for cattle is $13 per head excluding GST.
The overall addition cost of not tagging a deer with a NAIT RFID tag is around $8 (i.e. $13 less the cost of the tag) excluding GST. If you cannot tag an animal safely, please use the impractical to tag exemption.

Trophy Deer
Tags on trophy stags may be removed without written permission from NAIT if sent to the game estate or safari park. The tag may be removed by the game estate operator or on the farm of origin if safer. NAIT must be informed about the tag removal and the change of the animal's location.

Fallow Deer
Tag retention of young fallow deer is a recognised management issue, and the farmers can apply to NAIT for permission not to tag fallow deer.
When moving fallow deer the person in charge of animals must provide details of the movement to NAIT. An annual stock-take of fallow deer must also be provided to NAIT