Protecting Our Sheep And Goat Industries

Sheep and goat producers in Victoria are set to benefit from a $17 million package to support the introduction of electronic identification technology across the supply chain.

Minister for Agriculture Jaala Pulford today announced the support package at a meeting of Victorian livestock saleyard operators near Ballarat.

From 1 January 2017, all new born sheep and goats in Victoria will require electronic tags.

The Andrews Labor Government is helping farmers and those throughout the supply chain make the transition by offering subsidised tags, infrastructure grants, co-funded equipment grants and an education program to support sheep and goat producers, saleyards, abattoirs,  processors and service providers.

The cheapest electronic tags available to Victorian sheep and goat producers in 2017 will be 35 cents each. To enable cost neutral tags the government is providing a tag subsidy of up to $7.7 million.

Sheep and goat producers only need to purchase electronic tags to comply with the new regulations. In addition, producers can also access co-funded grants to purchase equipment and software.

Feedback received from more than 400 stakeholders through the consultation process helped shape both the transition package and standards that underpin the implementation of this crucial reform.

From 1 July 2017, saleyards and abattoirs will be required to commence electronic scanning of sheep and goats born after 1 January 2017. The electronic system will run alongside the visual system, which is anticipated to be fully implemented in 2022.

More information on the  transition package, timeline for implementation, standards and training opportunities is available at www.agriculture.vic.gov.au/SheepEID or by calling 1800 678 779.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Agriculture Jaala Pulford

“This transition will open up productivity right across our sheep and goat industries.”

“We’ve carefully structured this package to ensure all parts of the supply chain get the support they need, and we look forward to seeing industry work collaboratively to adopt the new system.”

“We will of course continue to listen to all parts of the industry through to the final stages of implementation in 2022. Consultation has been a hallmark of this transition package and it will remain central to the steps ahead.”

Quotes attributable to President of the Victorian Farmers’ Federation’s Livestock Group Leonard Vallance

“The VFF’s position has been that the new tags should be cost-neutral to farmers, and the 2017 cheapest individual tag price of 35 cents delivers this.”

“Of course this is a significant change for Victoria, but I have every confidence that this change can be delivered by our industry and will serve us well to meet the challenges and opportunities of the 21st Century.”