Aug 25, 2022
There are a few things farmers can do to help the tagging process this season, especially keeping the surface dry and giving the tags a good, long squeeze to help with adhesion before they go into the freezer:
- Try to avoid getting any dirt, velvet grease or water on either the glue or white sticking area of the tag
- Try to keep hands as clean and dry as possible when applying the tags
- Press the tags firmly together when applying them, to get the maximum bond strength. The better the bond, the less likely the tag is to come off during handling and transport
- Consider using an alcohol-based wipe, rather than hosing down the velvetting area between stags. This will kill any germs, rather than spreading them around and is less messy
- Keep unused tags in a metal container, such as a biscuit tin or toolbox, as far away as possible from any velvet that is being scanned. Six or more metres is recommended and the container must be metal, to block the radio frequency identification (RFID) signal
- Keep any competition velvet well away from velvet that is being scanned, to avoid it being accidentally included on a Velvet Status Declaration (VSD). If this happens, and the VSD is approved, the tag cannot be reversed, which means the velvet cannot be included on a future VSD
- Make sure that the tags are applied well before the velvet buyer/agent arrives. Attempting to sell untagged velvet for human consumption is an offence under the Animal Products Act 1999, which carries with it severe penalties, including imprisonment
- When approving a VSD, please remember to enter your NVSB programme number or the name of the veterinarian who removed the velvet in the space above the declaration, otherwise you will not be able to complete the approval.
Approving VSDs needs to be done promptly by farmers for each consignment that leaves the property, as velvet cannot be legally transferred from the buyer to the next step in the chain without an approved VSD in place, explains DINZ general manager quality assurance Rob Gregory.
“Delays in approving VSDs are extremely frustrating for buyers, processors and exporters, and could lead to velvet not being picked up in future.”
Finally, velvet is a food product, which means that it is vital to use an effective tourniquet before administering local anaesthetic. If, for any reason, a tourniquet cannot be applied then that velvet must not be offered for sale into the human food chain.