Former Agriculture Minister unconvinced OSPRI is ‘doing its job properly’

Rural Exchange 18/08/2018

Government-backed company OSPRI has been blamed for the lack of farmer compliance with the country’s animal tracing system.

The 2017 investigation into Mycoplasma bovis revealed that not all farmers were complying with the national animal identification and tracing (NAIT) scheme, leading to finger pointing across Government and industry leaders.

Former Agriculture Minister David Carter says the introduction of the NAIT scheme in 2012 can’t be blamed for non-compliance.

"I'm disappointed with the level of compliance, but I don't think you can blame the original introduction of NAIT into the agricultural system.

"The part we may not have got right was the structure whereby the responsibility to see that compliance was occurring moved from MPI to OSPRI," he told RadioLIVE.

The NAIT scheme merged with Animal Health Board in 2013 to become OSPRI, which runs both NAIT and a programme aimed at eradicating bovine TB.

Up until 2015, there was a large compliance team doing a successful job, but the reasons that this did not continue are still unclear. Mr Carter suggests that this needs to be put to OSPRI and former chief executive Michelle Edge to figure out what went wrong.

"I'm concerned as to whether OSPRI has done its job right.”

Watch the full interview with David Carter above.

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