VICTORIA’S sheep and goat producers will continue to enjoy the cheapest electronic sheep and goat ear tags in Australia in 2019.
The state’s producers will pay a subsidised price of 55 cents each for electronic ear tags ordered online through Agriculture Victoria next year, the Andrews Labor Government has announced.
The government said it has partnered with the sheep and goat industry to ensure Victoria’s sheep and goats electronic tags remain the cheapest in Australia.
Minister for Agriculture Jaala Pulford said from 1 January next year, electronic sheep tags will be available to Victorian producers from 55 cents.
Victoria is the first and only jurisdiction in the country to transition to mandatory electronic identification for sheep and goats. Other states continue to observe Victoria’s initiative, but none have followed its lead, nor participated in Agriculture Victoria’s annual tag tender.
Since November 2016, more than 18 million electronic tags have been sold and producers across Victoria have been using the new technology to record and access detailed data.
Ms Pulford said what was a bold plan only two years ago, is now becoming an integral and accepted part of the day-to-day work for sheep and goat producers, saleyards and abattoirs.
“Victoria took the lead in transitioning to the electronic identification of sheep and goats to provide trading partners with increased confidence in the safety and origin of Victorian products.”
“This reform serves to protect and enhance existing market access and expansion to profitable local and export markets,” she said.
VFF supports an EID-based NLIS for sheep and goats
Victorian Farmers Federation Livestock president Leonard Vallance said the VFF supported the transition to an electronic National Livestock Identification Scheme.
“This is a good outcome for Victorian farmers who will still enjoy the cheapest electronic tags in the nation by far.”
The subsidised ear tags in 2017 cost 35 cents and this rose to 45 cents this year. However, the subsidised prices in some instances have been less than half the price of equivalent tags in other states, depending on the manufacturer.
The State Government said EID is already improving sheep and goat traceability and protecting Victoria’s $6.7 billion livestock industries, which includes sheep meat and wool products worth more than $2.5 billion. Under Victoria’s new mandatory system, all sheep and goats born in Victoria from 1 January 2017 are required to be electronically tagged before leaving their property of birth.
The Victorian Government said electronic tag technology also allowed processors to provide accurate provenance details, better manage products to meet market specifications and provide information that will drive greater efficiency across the supply chain.
All Victorian sheep processors commenced scanning electronically tagged sheep from 31 December 2017, supported by infrastructure funded through the Victorian Government’s Transition Package. The Labor Government has also supported all Victorian saleyards that sell sheep, with grants to fund scanning and other related infrastructure.
Since 31 March 2018, more than 760,000 sheep have been scanned by Victorian saleyards and uploaded to the National Livestock Identification System database.
Lambs and non-exempt goat kids born after 1 January 2019 that originate from a premises interstate and move onto a property in Victoria will also be required to have an electronic tag before they can undertake further movement.
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