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Queensland sheep producers aim for EID tag cost-sharing

Sheep Central, August 23, 2023

QUEENSLAND sheep and goat producers are in negotiations to achieve a 50 percent co-investment with government on electronic ear tag costs.

AgForce Sheep and Wool Board chair Stephen Tully said the co-investment is being sought for EID tags for three years.

Mr Tull said feedback to the state’s Department of Agriculture and Fisheries from three information days supported the AgForce stance, and the government is to come back with a plan.

The department said this week individual electronic identification for sheep and goats will commence in Queensland from 1 January 2025 as a part of the agreed national initiative.

Mr Tully said AgForce wanted electronic tags in ears as soon as possible.

“In order for that to happen we believe there should be a co-investment in the tags, very similar to what South Australia and Western Australia are doing.”

Mr Tully said AgForce did not want an ongoing subsidy for EID tags.

“What we are asking for is help in the transition, hopefully for three years, where there will be double tagging and to try to get implementation to happen sooner, so we don’t have mad rush for tags on the 1st of January 2025.

“This will be beneficial to producers, but it will also be very beneficial to the government.”

Mr Tully also supported any saleyard and processor costs being met with a co-investment.

Queensland producers are also seeking the ability for livestock already tagged with visual tags to have the option to go direct to processors without an EID tag, he said.

“It is reasonable, it doesn’t reduce traceability at all and those sheep will be out of the system before we know it.”

Queensland EID workshops start next week

Producers will get the latest information on the proposed mandatory electronic identification rollout at a series of workshops starting next week.

Workshops will be held at:

  • Blackall, Tuesday 29 August, 9.30-11.30am, Blackall Cultural Centre
  • Longreach, Wednesday 30 August 2023, 9.30-11.30am, DAF office, 10357 Landsborough Highway
  • St George, Tuesday 5 September, 9.30-11.30am, St George Cultural Centre
  • Goondiwindi, Wednesday 6 September, 9.30-11.30am, Goondiwindi Waggamba Community Cultural Centre
  • Inglewood, Thursday 7 September, 9.30-11.30am, Inglewood Civic Centre
  • Meandarra, Friday 8 September, 9.30-11.30am, Meandarra School of Arts Hall

Producers can register to attend via https://daf.engagementhub.com.au/goat-sheep-eid.

Queensland chief biosecurity officer Rachel Chay said Queensland needed a faster and more accurate sheep and goat traceability system to protect the state’s livestock industry from an emergency animal disease (EAD) outbreak.

“This rollout is part of a national program.

“The Department of Agriculture and Fisheries is running information sessions across the state to provide information about this decision and update on the rollout plans for 2025.”

Queensland’s chief veterinary officer Dr Allison Crook said as chair of the Queensland Traceability Advisory Group, it is extremely important that government agencies and key industry groups across the sheep and goat industry are working together to find the best solutions for Queensland.

“The workshops that the department is holding across Queensland in August and September will inform the community about the program and the current plans, so industry can prepare for implementation in 2025.”

The Queensland Traceability Advisory Group is made up of government agencies and key industry representatives across the sheep and goat supply chain, and has been meeting to plan the EID rollout across the state and address industry concerns.

For more information visit https://www.business.qld.gov.au/industries/farms-fishing-forestry/agriculture/animal/nlis/sheep-and-goat-identification or phone 13 25 23.

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