VICTORIAN sheep producers will pay 45 cents for subsidised electronic sheep tags next year.
Minister for Agriculture Jaala Pulford announced the 2018 tender tag price while on a Donald farm today.
The price will be about 10 cents a tag above the subsidised cost-neutral price for this year, but the Andrews Labor Government said it will continue to subsidise electronic sheep tags, ensuring they remain the cheapest in the country.
All sheep and goats born in Victoria since January 1 2017 require an electronic tag. Ten million have been sold so far this year, the vast majority at a cost neutral price starting from 35 cents.
Farmers have also benefitted from co-funded grants to purchase optional equipment and software.
Minister Pulford also announced $1.47 million from the $17 million Sheep and Goat Transition fund will go to helping meat processors implement electronic identification.
Ms Pulford said the government was supporting farmers and ensuring electronic sheep and goat tags in Victoria remain the cheapest in the country.
“The Andrews Labor Government will not leave the industry to absorb these system changes alone – we’re continuing to subsidise electronic tags for sheep and goats.
“As more and more electronic tags are being manufactured the unit price is dropping, easing this transition for Victorian producers longer term,” she said.
Introducing the important reform to electronically tag sheep and goats and upload the data to the National Livestock Identification System protects market access for our valuable livestock industries and supports innovation and greater productivity through the supply chain, the government said.
The roll-out of the program is continuing, with nine abattoirs already scanning and uploading data to the NLIS and saleyards gearing up to meet their requirements.
In addition, all 22 Victorian saleyards have now submitted their applications for funding to support compulsory scanning of sheep and goats from March 31 2018. Applications closed on 31 October and are currently being assessed.
Agriculture Victoria said since the sheep and goat electronic identification announcement last year there have been further benefits including industry-funded research and development, and greater use of data on Victorian farms.
For more information on Electronic tagging, visit www.agriculture.vic.gov.au/sheepEID.