NATIONAL saleyards body – the Australian Livestock Markets Association – has joined an industry-wide call for a delay in the implementation of electronic identification systems for sheep and goats.
ALMA has called for a saleyards trial before the proposed implementation of sheep and goat EID systems in sheep and lamb selling centres next year.
After January 1, 2017, all sheep and goats born in Victoria will require an electronic identification tag before being dispatched to a saleyard, abattoir or another property.
From July 1, 2017, all saleyards, abattoirs and knackeries will be required to scan electronic tags of sheep and goats and upload the information to the National Livestock Identification System (NLIS) database.
The Australian Livestock and Property Agents Association has also called for an EID or eRFID (electronic radio frequency ID) trial to be held in a saleyard and national the sheep and goat producer bodies also want EID introduction delayed to “properly research, design and incorporate new additional infrastructure, while modifying that which already exists.”
ALMA said it has written to the Victorian Government, and among other matters, urged it to delay the proposed saleyard implementation date. Such a delay would allow for a commercial saleyard trial to be conducted and results fully digested prior to mandatory scanning in saleyards becoming compulsory, ALMA said.
ALMA chairman Steve Loane said without the conduct of an in depth trial in a major saleyard facility at commercial speeds, tax payer and industry funding would be wasted.
ALMA, ALPA and the main sheep and goat commodity groups – the Sheepmeat Council of Australia, WoolProducers Australia and the Goat industry Council of Australia — support the current national mob‐based tracing scheme under the National Livestock Identification System.
Mr Loane said while the association welcomed technological advances that support, improve and secure industry growth, he disputed Agriculture Minister Jaala Pulford’s contention that “industry is ready for this change.”
“Minister Pulford’s decision to rush implementation of mandatory eRFID sheep and goats is a disastrous outcome for our industry, both in Victoria and nationally.
“Whilst it appears on‐farm implications for mandatory eRFiD have been considered, it is clear that the operational implications for saleyards have not received the same level of thought.”
Ms Pulford told ABC Rural this week that 55 face-to-face sessions involving 400 people had been held, and 40 written submissions received, in a month-long consultation period.