Electronic tagging of sheep and goats is one of the biggest reforms to the agricultural industry, and today Minister for Agriculture Jaala Pulford tagged some of the first Autumn lambs of the season, getting hands on the game-changing technology.
Visiting the Molesworth property just outside of Ballan, Ms Pulford electronically tagged premium dorset stud lambs.
James Molesworth, who runs a large commercial and stud sheep operation is new to electronic tagging and is keen to explore how the technology can be used to increase traceability across the supply chain.
The implementation of an electronic National Livestock Identification System (NLIS) for sheep and goats was announced by Ms Pulford last year with a $17 million industry and farmer support package.
The mandatory use of electronic tags came into effect on 1 January this year, with lambs and kids born in Victoria on or after this date requiring an electronic tag before leaving the property of birth.
Introducing this critical reform not only improves biosecurity for our valuable sheep and goat sectors, but supports innovation, productivity, traceability and market access.
Throughout April, farmers from all over the state attended on-farm workshops to learn how to take tagging to the next level, with independent experts demonstrating the potential of electronic ID for flock management, productivity improvements and profit maximisation.
Every producer has access to cost neutral tags for the first twelve months for their 2017 lambs and kids, with tags available from 35 cents each.
Farmers who are keen to be early adopters, and embrace additional on-farm benefits are encouraged to apply for grants to purchase optional equipment like readers and purpose built weighing systems. Tag prices for 2018 will be announced soon.
Funding is available across the supply chain to assist with the transition to the electronic system.
Application forms for equipment grants are available at www.agriculture.vic.gov.au/sheepEID or by calling 1800 678 779 during business hours. Further information is available at www.agriculture.vic.gov.au/sheepEID.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Agriculture Jaala Pulford
“Electronic ID will help protect Victoria’s sheep and goat industries and our access to important export markets.”
“This is game-changing technology and Victorian farmers are proudly leading the way.”
“It’s great to see farmers like James getting on board with the roll out and taking advantage of the benefits of electronic ID.”