Industry supported duty ensures sheep tags remain affordable

From 1 January 2021, there will be changes to the prices of electronic National Livestock Identification System (NLIS) (Sheep) tags and the duty paid when sheep and goats are traded.

NLIS tags for sheep and goats will cost from 76 cents, meaning Victorian producers are still able to buy the cheapest electronic NLIS (Sheep) tags in Australia.

Victoria’s Chief Veterinary Officer, Dr Graeme Cooke, said it was vital that livestock can be identified and tracked from their property of birth throughout their life.

‘Traceability, through the NLIS, protects the reputation of Victoria livestock industries as a supplier of safe food and enables efficient response during disease outbreak or food safety emergency,’ Dr Cooke said.

‘Since the introduction of mandatory electronic identification for sheep and goats, producers have purchased more than 40 million tags and almost 39 million sheep and goat movements have been recorded on the NLIS database.

‘It’s important to remember that traceability is an important responsibility for all livestock owners – whether you’ve got a large flock or herd or a few pet sheep or goats – and you must follow the requirements.’

A recent independent evaluation of the electronic NLIS (Sheep & Goat) system operating in Victoria found that more than 99 per cent of electronically tagged livestock could be traced back to their last property of residence, exceeding the traceability standards of sheep identified with visually readable tags.

‘The performance of Victoria’s electronic NLIS (Sheep & Goat) system compared to the visual tag system is a great achievement, and a credit to the commitment of Victorian producers, saleyards, agents and processors,’ Dr Cooke said.

The sheep and goat duty has remained at 12 cents per head since 1999 and will increase from 1 January to 19 cents per head. Increasing the duty is supported by the Victoria Farmers Federation and the Sheep and Goat Compensation Advisory Committee.

Duty payments are collected into the Sheep and Goat Compensation Fund, which gets reinvested into industry through the Livestock Biosecurity Funds grants program.

The increase enables the compensation fund to grow its investment into important projects for the benefit of the sheep and goat industries and improve Victoria’s biosecurity.

The duty will be increased incrementally over three years, to 27 cents per head from 1 January 2022, and 35 cents per head from 1 January 2023. These increases come after thorough consultation with industry.

See the NLIS

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