THE Australian Livestock Markets Association has called for an Australia-wide delay in the scanning of sheep and goats in saleyards within the proposed national electronic identification system.
ALMA has written to state ministers this week asking for the deferment of saleyard scanning of sheep and goat EID to 1 July 2025 (a deferment of six months in most cases) to come into line with Western Australia’s recent announcement.
All state and federal agriculture and primary industries ministers had agreed on a harmonised national implementation date of 1 January 2025, with varying timelines for the EID tagging of all farmed sheep and goats leaving properties out to 1 January 2027.
Most states and territories with saleyards – New South Wales, Queensland, Western Australia and the Northern Territory – had agreed to the EID scanning of small stock by 1 January 2025. South Australia and Tasmania have yet to confirm a saleyard EID scanning date.
However, the WA Government recently decided to defer its EID system rollout, including delaying the mandatory scanning of EID at WA saleyards and abattoirs from 1 January 2025 to 1 July 2025.
New South Wales, the Northern Territory and Queensland have also listed 1 January 2025 as the date for saleyard scanning to begin, but ALMA in support of WA’s decision has called on the Queensland, New South Wales, South Australian and Tasmanian state governments to recognise the significant pressures producers, livestock agents and saleyards are facing and defer EID scanning in saleyards until 1 July 2025.
ALMA said this deferment would allow further time to realise a more cost effective and efficient model for the saleyard industry.
Current weather conditions and commodity values have placed financial, physical and emotional pressures on producers, livestock agents and saleyards. The additional pressure of preparing for the planned 1 January 2025 EID implementation further burdens the industry, ALMA said in a statement.
ALMA president Ken Rogers said Western Australian Food and Agriculture Minister Jackie Jarvis has recognised the current pressures the industry is facing.
“Minister Jarvis has listened to the sheep industry and responded in a practical and sympathetic manner.
“We now urge all the other states to follow this lead and show an understanding of the current issues facing the saleyard and broader sheep and goat industry,” he said.
The nation’s other national saleyards body, the Australian Livestock Saleyards Association, is maintaining its support for the original agreed national EID rollout implementation guidelines around the implementation date of 1 January 2025.
ALSA executive officer Mark McDonald said ALSA at this stage had not taken a position on whether the EID system rollout should be delayed.