SHEEP and lamb producers in New South Wales and South Australia will be offered discounted electronic ear tags in response to an expected export processor preference for electronically-identified livestock.
Within days of the Victorian Government announcing $17 million in transition funding to support mandatory sheep and goat identification in the state – including a $7.7 million tag subsidy — New South Wales and South Australian producers will also be able to buy discounted EID tags at $1.21 including GST.
Under the Victorian sheep and goat EID transition package announced last week, the state’s producers are now able to buy ‘cost neutral’ EID tags online from several manufacturers — including Leader Products, Shearwell, Zee Tags, Allflex and Enduro – for 35-70 cents, but these subsidised tags are unavailable to interstate flock owners.
Landmark’s south-east region category manager David Hintum said Landmark had previously retailed sheep EID tags for around $1.50 ($1.65 incl. GST) in the states bordering Victoria.
Sheep and goats entering Victoria for sale or slaughter only need to be identified according to the rules of the state of origin – currently a visual tag — but Leader Products announced today that Landmark will retail its new EID Multipin tag to New South Wales and South Australian producers for $1.10 plus GST– about 40 cents cheaper than previous electronic tag prices in the states.
“From what we can gather, it might be an advantage for some of those interstate clients who might be inclined to widen their marketing options into Victoria after January 1 (2017), with the introduction of mandatory EID in sheep,” Mr Hintum said.
Victorian export processors told saleyard operators and stock agents at a workshop near Ballarat last week they would prefer to buy sheep and lambs with electronic tags and might eventually only buy electronically-identified stock.
The processors expected demand from new customers seeking improved traceability via electronic tags might drive EID sheep and lamb uptake nationally. Australian Lamb Company livestock manager Ben Verrall said producers selling stock in saleyards where Victorian processors were buying would be “best served” by making sure their sheep and lambs had an electronic tag.
Mr Hintum said Landmark understood that some exporters had indicated they might in the future show a preference for EID-tagged sheep and lambs.
“From where I sit, it looks like it is happening, so as a seller of merchandise we need to be in a position to support our farmers who might need to buy these tags.
“Sheep EID tags have been a very low percentage of our sheep ear tag sales up until this point; we are just anticipating that they will become a much larger percentage with what is going on.”
Leader Products director Bruce Dumbrell said the arrangement with Landmark would ensure the interstate producers had a lower-cost EID tag option to maintain access to Victorian markets.
Mr Dumbrell said the new Multipin tag with a fully-protected transponder in the pin would be released in early December.