SOUTH Australian sheep producers will receive an electronic ear tag or other EID cost rebate as part of an initial $9.3 million funding package announced by the State Government last week.
Livestock SA vice president, Allan Piggott, said under the phase 1 package, a State Government commitment to cover 50 percent of the cost of approved National Livestock Identification System electronic tags and other devices for the next two years has been made.
The rebate will help producers to prepare breeding flocks and herds for January 2027, when all farmed sheep and goat movements will require electronic identification, he said.
“We also thank the minister for recognising that some producers have already started tagging 2023 drop future breeding lambs and kids so they only need to handle stock once, with the tag rebate applying from 1 January 2023.
“We support the 75pc contribution towards essential EID infrastructure across the supply chain as everyone needs to have some skin in the game,” Mr Piggott said.
“For most producers it will be business as usual, as they will not need equipment to read tags, just the tags and an applicator.”
Mr Piggott said the finer details of the extent of the tag rebate and the 75pc contribution are being finalised. The rebate is based on a notional tag/device cost of $1.90 and will be paid retrospectively on presentation of a paid invoice for producers who have already bought their EID tags or devices.
“We didn’t want to penalise the early adopters.”
Livestock SA chief executive officer Travis Tobin said 50pc rebate was agreed to because it notionally brings the cost to under $1 to producer, and “what it does is it actually incentivises the government and industry to get on with finding long-term affordable prices for tags.”
The tag rebate has been designed for breeding stock that will be retained to avoid doubling handling post 1 January 2027. Terminal lambs and kids do not need an EID device for the next two years (only after 1 January 2025).
From 1 January 2025 every farmed sheep and goat leaving a property for sale or being transferred to another Property Identification Code will need to be electronically identified.
“So at this stage it is a waste of money putting EIDs into terminal lambs, but we need to test the system with some EIDS to make sure the hardware in the saleyards and processors is working.
“But also some of the ewes, the breeders now, will still be around post 1 January 2027 and we don’t want producers having to retag sheep,” Mr Piggott said.
Livestock SA has welcomed the State Government’s announcement of key dates and the associated initial $9.3 million funding package, to assist producers and the broader industry start the transition towards mandatory sheep and goat EID in South Australia by January 2025.
Mr Piggott said the organisation was pleased that the State Government has listened to industry in making its phase 1 commitment, that together with the Federal Government contribution, will assist the initial transition towards the 1 January 2025 ‘go live’ date.
“Confirmation that South Australia will adopt a staged implementation provides much needed certainty for businesses to plan and a more realistic timeline to work towards,” he said.
“The non-negotiables for Livestock SA in any commitment were equitable funding across the supply chain to help cover the cost of installing essential infrastructure and recognition that producers will bear the majority of the costs associated with a mandatory EID system.
“We will continue to work with the State Government on the second stage of implementation and the support that will be required to enable a full transition to a mandatory EID system in South Australia,” Mr Piggott said.
Mr Piggott said it is Livestock SA’s understanding that there will be further State Government funding for the EID system implementation.
Key dates for the SA EID implementation
1 January 2025: All sheep and managed goats born on or after this date will require an EID device before leaving their birth property. Sheep and managed goats born before 1January 2025 do not need EID to be sold during 2025 and 2026.
1 January 2027: All sheep and managed goats leaving property, irrespective of age, will require an EID device.
Tag rebate: Designed for breeding stock that will be retained to avoid doubling handling post 1 January 2027. Terminal lambs and kids do not need an EID device for the next two years (only after 1 January 2025).
For more information, visit the Livestock SA website on eID: www.livestocksa.org.au/eid