Victoria costs sheep electronic identification transition at $17m

Sheep Central November 11, 2016
Victorian Minister for Agriculture Jaala Pulford has promised Victorian farmers 'cost neutral' electronic sheep tags.

Victorian Minister for Agriculture Jaala Pulford has promised Victorian farmers ‘cost neutral’ electronic sheep tags.

VICTORIA’S state government has put a price tag of $17 million on introducing mandatory electronic identification for sheep and goats.

Minister for Agriculture Jaala Pulford announced the $17 million support package at a meeting of Victorian livestock saleyard operators at the Ballarat Technology Park at Mt Helen, near Ballarat.

To meet its promise to provide electronic tags to Victorian sheep and goat producers at a comparative ‘cost-neutral’ cost to visual tags, the government’s transition package includes up to $7.7 million for a tag subsidy.

The support package from the Andrews Labor Government will also fund infrastructure grants, co-funded equipment grants and an education program to support sheep and goat producers, saleyards, abattoirs, processors and service providers. Producers will also be able to access co-funded grants to purchase equipment and software.

Minister for Agriculture Jaala Pulford said the transition to mandatory electronic tagging on sheep and goats will open up productivity right across our sheep and goat industries.

“We’ve carefully structured this package to ensure all parts of the supply chain get the support they need, and we look forward to seeing industry work collaboratively to adopt the new system.

“We will of course continue to listen to all parts of the industry through to the final stages of implementation in 2022,” she said.

“Consultation has been a hallmark of this transition package and it will remain central to the steps ahead.”

From 1 January 2017, all new born sheep and goats in Victoria will require electronic tags. From 1 July 2017, saleyards and abattoirs will be required to commence electronic scanning of sheep and goats born after 1 January 2017. The electronic system will run alongside the visual system, which is anticipated to be fully implemented in 2022.

Victorian Farmers’ Federation’s Livestock Group president Leonard Vallance said the VFF’s position has been that the new tags should be cost-neutral to farmers, “and the 2017 cheapest individual tag price of 35 cents delivers this.”

“Of course this is a significant change for Victoria, but I have every confidence that this change can be delivered by our industry and will serve us well to meet the challenges and opportunities of the 21st Century.”

The government said sheep and goat producers only need to purchase electronic tags to comply with the new regulations.

Feedback received from more than 400 stakeholders through the consultation process helped shape both the transition package and standards that underpin the implementation of this crucial reform, the government said.

More information on the transition package, timeline for implementation, standards and training opportunities is available at or by calling 1800 678 779.


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