Strong Traceability For Our Valuable Sheep Industry

20 November 2019

Victoria’s transition to electronic identification for sheep and goats is now almost complete, with the Andrews Labor Government supporting the change to make the state’s livestock industry more innovative and efficient.

Minister for Agriculture Jaclyn Symes today visited Horsham Regional Livestock Exchange to see the new system in action, showing the results of the industry’s commitment to innovation in the design and implementation of this new traceability technology.

The Horsham saleyards is celebrating 20 years of operation and, as the fourth largest lamb market in Victoria processing 600,000 sheep each year, is a leader in applying the new technology and creating its own efficiencies through the new system.

The Labor Government provided $380,000 to Horsham Rural City Council to introduce the hardware and software needed for the Saleyards to make the transition to electronic identification.

Victoria began its transition to mandatory electronic identification for sheep and goats on 1 January 2017. Changes across the supply chain from on-farm tagging to scanning and data processing at saleyards and abattoirs have made huge advances in efficiency and data integrity.

The reform has improved Victoria’s ability to trace sheep and goats, ensuring the ongoing prosperity of Victoria’s livestock industries through consumer confidence and access to export markets.

In 2017-18, Victoria exported $1.4 billion of sheep meat and $2.1 billion of wool, demonstrating the enormous role our sheep industry has to play in many regional and rural Victorian communities.

To help keep these industries secure, the Victorian Budget 2019/20 invested $142.5 million to boost Victoria’s biosecurity system – the largest investment of its type in the history of our state, preventing the spread of pests and diseases.

For more information on electronic identification, visit

Quotes attributable to Minister for Agriculture Jaclyn Symes

“Traceability underpins our biosecurity system – having a world-class livestock identification system gives Victoria’s trading partners confidence in our secure agriculture industry, as well as strengthening our ability to trace diseases and keep Victorian consumers safe in the event of an exotic disease outbreak.”

“Our innovations in traceability wouldn’t be possible without our industry partners – including Meat and Livestock Australia, who have invested in this change with us and continue to support the benefits of keeping Victoria at the forefront of this technology.”

“It’s been fascinating to visit the Horsham Regional Livestock Exchange – on their 20th birthday no less – and see first-hand how they are using electronic identification for sheep and goats not only to improve traceability, but to make their business more efficient.”

Reviewed 19 August 2020

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