|Posted August 19, 2005, as
reported by just-food.com: Every animal on every farm needs
to be traceable, according to the Meat and Wool New Zealand report.
The report which comes amid world wide food health scares such as
mad cow disease and bird flu recommends a compulsory animal identification
system be adopted by October 2007, the New Zealand Herald reports.
The report also cites a need to improve animal identification or
"traceability" to meet the needs of safety-conscious consumers
in Europe and Asia.
Starting with cattle and deer, every animal on every farm will
be given a unique identification number it will carry all the way
to market. Cattle identification schemes are already mandatory for
all major trading partners except the US.
Meat and Wool chairman Jeff Grant said that while New Zealand had
a good voluntary system, it was vital from a marketing perspective
that international customers could be given the assurance of a national
"The whole thing has been totally driven by BSE," Grant
He said customers in countries such as Japan and Korea were demanding
that sort of assurance.
Grant said the cost of a national system did not have to be huge.
The existing framework could be built on so the 2007 timeframe was
achievable. New Zealand's livestock is almost exclusively grass-fed
making the risk of a BSE outbreak negligible.
But Grant said the first question international consumers ask about
beef was not where it was from, but: "Is it safe?"