AUSTRALIA’S meat processors will continue to lobby industry regulators to enforce a hard 2027 deadline for national implementation of mandatory electronic identification of sheep and managed goats.
Australian Meat Industry Council general manager of industry affairs Tim Ryan this week said AMIC would also pursue its position that visual non-EID tags not be National Livestock Identification System accredited after 1 January 2025.
But this position did not refer to the possibility of a commercial buying embargo on sheep and goats that don’t have EIDS tags after that date, he said.
AMIC chief executive officer Patrick Hutchinson last month said getting visual NLIS tags out of circulation would quicken the transition to full EID tag use nationally, consistent with AMIC’s ‘no gaps’ policy.
Mr Ryan said following the launch of AMIC’s position on sheep and managed goat EID last month, the council would continue to make representations to the national Sheep and Goat Traceability Task Force and various state forums, “and advocate to get all aspects drafted into implementation plans.”
AMIC chief executive officer Patrick Hutchinson last month said processors will accept sheep that have been tagged with a visual NLIS tag before 1 January 2025 and transferred up until 1 January 2027. AMIC wants all newborn lambs and untagged sheep to have an EID tag when next transferred nationally from 1 January 2025 and all sheep to be EID-tagged from 2027.
“We’ll work with industry and state partners towards a logical and sensible implementation which is harmonised as much as possible, noting that we already have Victoria with EIDs and NSW with their own plan on the table.
“The other states are at various stages of forming their plans,” Mr Ryan said.
The NSW Government’s timeline for sheep and goat electronic identification implementation includes:
- All meat processors will be required to start EID scanning farmed sheep and goats from 30 June 2024.
- All sheep and farmed goats born on or after 1 January 2025 will require an EID device.
- All saleyards, depots and property to property transfers of stock will require EID scanning from 1 January 2025.
- All farmed sheep and goats leaving a property will require an EID device from 1 January 2027.
“The sooner we can have EIDs coming through the better, but we’re requesting the regulators enforce a hard 2027 deadline for EIDs to be fully implemented for sheep and managed goat movements,” Mr Ryan said.
“This position does not reflect a commercial embargo of visual tags of our members, but rather the need for the state regulators to implement rules for all parties to abide by in response to the biosecurity threats we are faced with.
“This is an instance where industry has recognised the problem and requested the regulator to reform the rules for the betterment of everyone,” he said.
“Outside of the regulatory baseline, there may be some commercial drivers to adopt EIDs sooner – for instance, for eligibility into some branded farm-assured programs – but that would be beyond the mandatory regulatory requirement.”