The changes made were to:
- Clarify that an authorised officer entering premises for the purpose of enforcing the NAIT Act has the powers necessary to collect evidence of non-compliance.
- Require people to record movements of animals to and from all locations, rather than simply ‘NAIT locations’. This closes a loophole which meant that people moving stock between unregistered properties could not be prosecuted.
Authorised MPI officers have the right to enter a farm without a search warrant for purposes related to compliance with legislation. These rights are under the Animal Welfare Act; Biosecurity Act; Animal Products Act; Animal Compounds and Veterinary Medicines Act, and the NAIT Act.
The difference was that the NAIT Act did not enablean MPI officer that entered a farm to check compliance with NAIT to collect evidence. Collecting evidence of non-compliance is obviously key to enforcement and so we supported the changes.
The amendments make no difference to an MPI officer’s power to enter a house, or a marae. A search warrant is needed to enter these places.
Ultimately, B+LNZ backed the changes because we believe they are necessary for New Zealand to have a reliable livestock traceability system. The process through which the amendments were made in Parliament, however, could have been better. We have asked MPI to communicate with farmers as soon as possible to explain them in more detail.