Animal ID and monitoring

Queensland sheep and goat producers can $1600 EID support

Sheep Central, February 21, 2024

AgForce sheep, wool and goats commodity president Stephen Tully: $1600 is not enough.


QUEENSLAND’S peak farmer body has called for wider support for fairer cost-sharing arrangements for the proposed national sheep and goat electronic identification rollout after producers were told to expect no more than $1600 in support.

AgForce today said in combination with a miniscule financial contribution from the Federal Government, Queensland’s sheep and goat producers are set to receive no more than $1600 per enterprise to help adjust to the new compulsory regime.

The $6.344 million Queensland Sheep and Goat eID Assistance Package Scheme will provide:

A 50 percent rebate up to $1600 (per Property Identification Code (PIC) based in Queensland) to sheep and managed goat producers for EID readers and EID devices.

A 50pc rebate up to $2500 (small saleyards) or $65,000 (large saleyards) for EID readers, software and hardware.

A 50pc rebate up to $2500 (small processor), or $10,000 (medium processors), or $85,000 (large processors), for EID readers, software and hardware.

A 50pc rebate up to $1600 to Queensland livestock agents and show society sub chambers for EID readers.

AgForce sheep, wool and goats commodity president Stephen Tully said the $1600 simply not enough to support producers through such a massive change. While the industry does not oppose the move to a mandatory EID system, a fairer cost sharing arrangement is desperately needed, he said.

“AgForce has lobbied strongly for an equitable cost sharing arrangement between governments and industry to support grass-roots producers, those family-based farming operations that will bear the brunt of the costs,” Mr Tully said.

AgForce, alongside industry’s peak bodies, supported recommendations sent to the National Biosecurity Committee to improve traceability and enhance biosecurity, which sought a new, robust National Livestock Identification System database capable of meeting the complete needs of Australia’s livestock industries; a set of NLIS business rules to harmonise all States and Territory’s movements of livestock; and an equitable and sustainable cost-sharing arrangement.

“The only policy that is heading in the right direction to meet industry’s needs, is the work toward a new NLIS database,” Mr Tully said.

“It’s a complete debacle.”

Call for support for WoolProducers position

Mr Tully said the concerns with national processes that have been followed to date are so significant that WoolProducers Australia publicly withdrew its support for the mandatory roll-out.

AgForce Sheep, Wool and Goats fully support the stance taken by WoolProducers Australia and call on other industry groups to also speak out to voice their frustrations, he said.

AgForce said jurisdictional discussions on the NLIS Business Rules, that did not include the state farming organisations, has highlighted how different the needs across the country are. This needs to be harmonised for the transition to be successful.

Mr Tully said the industry needs these discussions to start again, with direct involvement from grass-roots producers to ensure the new regime is fit for purpose.

Similarly, at the state level, the Queensland Traceability Advisory Group (QTAG) has failed its membership with poor governance, he said.

“Any increase in government funding is a positive step, but when ministerial advisory groups are advised of increases to funding packages via media release, rather than in-advance around the table of a group meeting, the point of coordinating such advisory groups must be called into question.

“QTAG members were not even given the chance to discuss how additional funding should be allocated,” Mr Tully said.

AgForce said the Queensland government’s funding announcement effectively snubs Queensland’s hard-working sheep and goat producers, placing at risk tens of millions of dollars that has been invested into exclusion fencing to protect Queensland’s small livestock from wild dogs.

“The thousands of kilometres of exclusion fencing that has gone up through-out Queensland was to protect our sheep, and encourage industry growth. Electronic tag costs, being an additional cost to operate our sheep businesses, risks our ability to maintain profitable sheep enterprises,” Mr Tully said.

“I would hate to think that in the future, exclusion fencing did not benefit the sheep producer.”

AgForce said industry can only hope that there will be a further funding announcement made later in the year in the State Budget and until then, the Queensland Government will roll out its implementation plan for EID without industry support.

QLD Government urges collaboration for smooth EID transition

Queensland’s Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries and Minister for Rural Communities Mark Furner said the state is moving to mandatory electronic identification (EID) for individual sheep and goats through the National Livestock Identification System.

“We need a fast and accurate sheep and goat traceability system to protect Queensland’s livestock industry from an emergency animal disease (EAD) outbreak.

“Implementation of an EID system to individually trace sheep and goats will also deliver national and international standards of traceability,” he said.

Queensland Chief Veterinary Officer Dr Allison Crook said a robust traceability system is the cornerstone of any successful response to a biosecurity incursion in Australia.

“It is extremely important that government agencies and key stakeholder groups across the sheep and goat industry continue to work together to ensure a smooth transition.”


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Your comment will not appear until it has been moderated.
Contributions that contravene our Comments Policy will not be published.


Get Sheep Central's news headlines emailed to you -