SHEEP Central editor Terry Sim is joining a Victorian saleyard managers’ tour of Uniting Kingdom and Holland saleyards from next week in a timely sheep electronic identification fact-finding mission.
The Australian Livestock Saleyards Association’s executive officer Mark McDonald said the aim of the tour was to look at the EU electronic identification system for sheep, including the software and scanning equipment being used in saleyards.
The tour party of 10 people includes Mr McDonald and saleyard managers from Bendigo, Ouyen, Horsham, Shepparton and Naracoorte, as well as an Agriculture Victoria staff member, and Sheep Central’s Terry Sim.
The 10-day tour will include meetings with stock agents and industry officers at various livestock selling centres, including the Sedgemoor, Drayton, Carlisle and Longtown markets in the UK. Tour members will also visit two major scanning equipment suppliers – ALEIS and Shearwell – looking at production facilities and new systems and technologies. In Holland the tour will visit a major saleyard near Amsterdam.
“We want to learn from them in terms of what issues they had when they were setting up, whether they’ve made any changes and how the overall system works – that’s the rationale,” Mr McDonald said.
“We want to see the EU system in operation and learn from their experience.”
The Victorian-based livestock saleyards association applied for Regional Development Victoria funding for the tour before the Victorian Government decided to mandate electronic identification for sheep and goats in the state.
“It’s actually turned out to be really good timing – the original rationale was to have a look at a system that has been operating for several years (since 2010).
“It is just a really good chance to see the system live in another jurisdiction and hopefully to learn from their experience in putting it all together.”
Mr McDonald said it is expected that the information gleaned from the tour will feed directly into the sheep EID system planning, which has to happen in Victorian saleyards.
Over the next four months Victorian saleyards will be planning their sheep EID needs and ALSA will be starting saleyard trials in the next two months.
- Follow the tour’s travels and findings on the Sheep Central website, and the Sheep Central Facebook page.