NSW Farmers have backed the phased introduction of electronic National Vendor Declarations, at the body’s annual conference in Sydney this week.
NSW Farmers’ Association members, including members of the sheepmeat committee, passed a motion with a clear majority supporting the phased introduction of eNVDs.
The mover of the motion, NSW Farmers’ Goat Industry Committee Katie Davies, said farmers should embrace new technology to increase traceability.
“The current trial of eNVDs aims to make it even easier for farmers to comply with the National Livestock Identification Scheme (NLIS).
“We recognise that some farmers might not have the required communications coverage and will continue to need paper versions for some time,” she said.
“We also need to encourage people to move into the 21st Century.
“My iPhone is now a powerful biosecurity tool,” Ms Davies added.
“NSW Farmers absolutely oppose the introduction of any regulation which includes mandatory electronic RFID tags for all sheep and goats.”
“However, it is clear that the government expects us to work towards gradual improvements in traceability and we should embrace new technology that allows us to do that,” she said.
“This is about making the current system more robust and ensuring the integrity of the entire supply chain.”
The Safemeat Initiatives Review Committee is overseeing trials of eNVDS involving saleyards, abattoirs, feedlots, agents and producers. Trials are planned for several locations around Australia, involving a meatwork, feedlot, saleyard and producer situation to eliminate any “bugs” in the proposed system.
NSW Farmers said members opposition to mandatory electronic RFIDs is informed by the results of NSW Department of Primary Industries’, Exercise Tuckerbox. This exercise showed that, in NSW, the current flock system provides more than adequate traceability in the event of a serious disease outbreak.
Source: NSW Farmers