The Andrews Labor Government has partnered with the sheep and goat industry to ensure electronic tags remain the cheapest in Australia.
Minister for Agriculture Jaala Pulford today announced that from 1 January next year, electronic sheep tags will be available to Victorian producers from 55 cents.
Victoria is the first jurisdiction in the country to transition to mandatory electronic identification (EID) for sheep and goats.
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 the new system, all sheep and goats born in Victoria from 1 January 2017 are required to be electronically tagged before leaving their property of birth.
Since November 2016, more than 18 million electronic tags have been sold and producers across the state have been using the new technology to record and access detailed data.
Electronic tag technology also allows 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, over 760,000 sheep have been scanned by Victorian saleyards and uploaded to the National Livestock Identification System database.
Lambs and non-exempt kids born after 1 January 2019 that originate from a premises interstate and move onto a property in Victoria will be required to have an electronic tag before they can undertake further movement.
As stated by Minister for Agriculture Jaala Pulford
“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.”
As stated by Victorian Farmers Federation Livestock President Leonard Vallance
“We support the transition to an electronic NLIS, this is a good outcome for Victorian farmers who will still enjoy the cheapest electronic tags in the nation by far.”