Cattle and deer need to be tagged with NAIT approved radio frequency identification device (RFID) tags.
- Newborn animals must be tagged with a NAIT approved tag within six months of birth, or before they are moved to a location with a different NAIT number, whichever is sooner.
- Cattle born before 1 July 2012, and deer born before 1 March 2013 have a three year grace period to be tagged, unless they are being moved off farm.
- Animals only need one NAIT RFID tag each. Do not re-tag animals with your own NAIT tag if they already have one.
- Animal Health Board (AHB) tags are not required for cattle and deer now, but you should not remove these tags from existing animals.
- NAIT tags can only be removed from live animals with permission from NAIT. To enquire about removing a tag call 0800 624 843 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- NAIT tags cannot be reused under any circumstances as the device is unique to a single animal.
Find out more about the types of tags that are available.
- Calves less than 30 days old going direct to meat processors, with a direct-to-slaughter tag issued by the meat processor are not required to be NAIT tagged.
- For safety reasons, cattle born before 1 July 2012 and deer born before 1 March 2013, which are considered by a farmer to be impractical to tag are exempt from NAIT tagging requirements if they are going direct to a meat processor and have already been tagged with an AHB bar-coded primary tag. If you are using this exemption a levy of $13 per head excluding GST will apply to these animals.
- Trophy stags are not required to have a NAIT RFID tag. However, the number of untagged trophy stags on your property needs to be provided to NAIT and updated annually in the NAIT system. Trophy stags can be moved to a game estate, safari park or zoo without a tag, but if they move to any other location, they must be tagged. If required, existing tags on trophy deer may be removed with NAIT’s permission if they are being sent to a game estate, safari park or zoo.
- Fallow deer are not required to have a NAIT RFID tag. However, the number of untagged fallow deer on your property needs to be provided to NAIT and updated annually in the NAIT system.
How to tag your animals
To ensure high retention, NAIT RFID tags should be applied to the central/inner part of the right ear, with the white ‘female’ part of the tag facing forward.
NAIT recommends tagging the right ear, as many meat processors, sale yards and farmers have fixed tag readers set up to read on the right.
Make sure you order NAIT approved tags. NAIT approved tags meet NAIT’s performance standard, including a high retention rate when applied correctly.
The following manufacturers produce NAIT approved tags:
You can order NAIT tags from farm supply stores, in the same way that you would order LIC, CRV Ambreed or AHB tags. You will need to have your AHB herd number or dairy participant code to order your tags. If you do not have an AHB herd number you should contact the Animal Health Board on 0800 437 243 or www.tbfree.co.nz.
- RFID tags with the white female portion are for cattle, the back portion must also be white.
- RFID tags with the orange female portion are for deer, the back portion may be any colour but white.