ALMOST a quarter of sheep consignments examined in a South Australian saleyard blitz earlier this year were found to have tag and National Vendor Declaration issues.
Primary Industries and Regions SA has fined 17 producers and issued 43 warnings, mainly for not listing all of the other property identification codes on the ear tags of their sheep.
Of the 254 consignments examined, 60 were found to have an issue. The most common issues were missing tags, incomplete national vendor declarations (NVD) and wrong tag type.
The fines and warnings followed a blitz by Biosecurity SA staff focusing on non-vendor bred consignments at South Australian saleyards.
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In a statement today, PIRSA reminded sheep and goat producers to ensure stock are correctly identified and that the National Vendor Declaration is correctly filled out before livestock leave the property.
PIRSA also reminded producers that even if the stock being consigned for slaughter are for their own consumption, they still need to be accompanied with the relevant movement documents.
Biosecurity SA-PiRSA executive director, Will Zacharin, said Biosecurity SA will continue to focus on the compliance with the National Livestock Identification System rules for sheep and goats at saleyards and abattoirs, “so the industry can continue to demonstrate to our global trading partners that we have an effective and acceptable traceability system.”
Mr Zacharin said the National Livestock Identification System is a vital component of the state’s ability to access markets and benefit from overseas meat export opportunities.
“South Australia’s sheep, wool and lamb currently generates $1.8 billion in revenue annually and with over 50 percent of our lamb and 95pc of our sheep and goat meat exported overseas.
“It is vital that we have a robust livestock tractability system, which is expected by our export partners.”
Mr Zacharin said establishing clear traceability from paddock to plate, strengthens on-farm biosecurity measures and results in greater access to key domestic and international markets for South Australian livestock.
PIRSA said when consigning sheep or goats that were not born on their property, producers need to:
Check the animals thoroughly to determine what PICs are in the mob being consigned.
Take care in listing all of the other PICs on the NVD
Only list what is in the consignment on the NVD
Make sure you complete all of the appropriate tick boxes
Consider retagging with pink post-breeder tags if you have more than a handful of other
PICs in your consignment
Use the 2013 and onwards versions of the NVD
All sheep and goat movements must be recorded on the national NLIS database and the mob-based system enables animals to be traced to their property of birth and last property of residence, PIRSA said. This information assists in containing and managing any major disease or food safety incidents.
PIRSA administers the NLIS in South Australia. For further information contact your local Animal Health Officer or visit www.pir.sa.gov.au/biosecurity/animal_health/sheep/nlis_sheep_goats