A NEW tender for electronic sheep and goat tags later this year would likely drive costs lower for producers, Victoria’s Minister for Agriculture and Regional Development Jaala Pulford said.
“The Victorian Government has the option of again tendering for electronic sheep tags in late 2016.
“Prices in Victoria for all electronic tags are already the cheapest in the country, with the possibility of a new tender likely to maintain downward pressure on price,” she said.
“As the uptake of using EID tags for sheep and goats increases, the cost is likely to come down further.
“That is why I continue to encourage Victorian sheep meat producers and wool growers to consider the commercial advantages of identifying their sheep with EID tags.”
Electronic tag use increases to more than 400,000
Electronic NLIS (Sheep) tag sales increased in Victoria by 36 percent in 2014-15 to over 400,000 tags and Victoria’s Chief Veterinary Officer Dr Charles Milne today said cheaper tags would help more Victorian producers harness the benefits of electronic identification.
“The cheapest electronic tag, manufactured by Victorian based supplier Leader Products, is now available for 77 cents per tag – this is the cheapest electronic sheep tag in Australia,” Dr Milne said.
“A further six tag brands are also available for prices ranging from $0.80 to $1.52 each.”
Ms Pulford said effective traceability of sheep and goats is critical to underpin Victoria’s quality brand, to protect Victoria’s sheep meat, wool, goat, beef, dairy and pork industries, and to capitalise on emerging market opportunities associated with food safety and provenance.
“This issue was discussed at the last AGMIN meeting of Commonwealth, state and territory Agriculture Ministers and Victoria remains committed to working with our counterparts to foster innovation that will improve farm profits and safeguard industry from the trade risks of disease.
“It is our belief that voluntary adoption of electronic tagging should be encouraged,” she said.
“Driving down the costs for sheep and goat electronic identification is a big focus for the Victorian Government.”
Ms Pulford said the Victorian Government had not released any recent tenders or made offers of funding to saleyards for electronic infrastructure.
“We are considering a range of options to encourage the voluntary uptake of electronic tagging in sheep and goats,” she said.
Dr Milne said with prime lambs now selling for up to $160, and strong demand and attractive prices for wool, the commercial opportunities associated with electronic identification have never been greater.
“The key period for sheep and goat producers to purchase their tags is in autumn, hop online at www.agriculture.vic.gov.au/nlis to get yours today.”
Dr Milne said by delivering cheaper electronic tags and more choice, the Victorian Department of Agriculture is making the use of electronic identification more attractive for sheep and goat producers.
For further information on the use of electronic NLIS (Sheep) tags, please call the NLIS Helpline on 1800 678 779 during office hours.