Discounted electronic identification (eID) ear tags are now available for the 2023 lamb and kid drop, as part of a Western Australian pilot to prepare for the adoption of the mandatory system for sheep and goats by January 2025.
The Tag Incentive Payment discount is part of the WA Government’s $3.4 million commitment to implement the nationally agreed eID system and enhance the State’s traceability capacity in response to increasing emergency animal disease threats.
National Livestock Identification System (NLIS) traceability is vital for a rapid response to an emergency animal disease or food safety incident and to underpin valuable trade relationships and export markets.
Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) Deputy Chief Veterinary Officer Chris Rodwell said the sky blue 2023 year-of-birth eID tags would enable the scanning devices to be tested ahead of the 1 January 2025 start date.
“The 75 cents per tag discount reduces price difference between the visual tags currently in use and the new eID tags,” Dr Rodwell said.
“The Tag Incentive Payment discount will apply to fully accredited NLIS eID tags, available from rural merchandisers and online for lambs and kids born in 2023.
“As the discount is applied at the manufacturer level, no additional paperwork or online input will be required to purchase the eID tags.
“Early adoption of the eID tags will minimise the time and labour required to re-tag sheep and goats born in 2023 prior to being moved off the property after the new eID system commences.”
The eID tags contain a microchip that is read via a scanning wand or panel reader, which is uploaded to the NLIS database to record an individual animal’s movements between Property Identification Codes.
DPIRD will work with saleyards, processors and export depots to help integrate the new eID technology into their operations.
“The plan is to have scanners installed throughout the post-farmgate supply chain by mid-2024 to test the complete system,” Dr Rodwell said.
“The department will work with industry to implement the new technology before the mandatory eID system starts.”
DPIRD is collaborating with the Western Australian Sheep and Goat NLIS Advisory Group to facilitate the adoption of the eID tags.
Dr Rodwell said every tag had a unique electronic identifier, which would be scanned as the animal moved through the supply chain – providing an individual, whole-of-life passport.
“It is important that all sheep and goats are tagged by January 1 2025 – irrespective of their final destination – to ensure the rigour of the new system,” he said.
"I encourage all livestock producers to consider how to best make the move to electronic identification to protect their businesses and the industry."
More information about the discounted sheep and goat eID tags and the transition to the mandatory national system is available on the 'Electronic identification for sheep and goats' webpage.
The Sheep and Goat NLIS Advisory Group is comprised of representatives from across the sheep and goat production, saleyard, processing, feedlotting and export sectors, as well as WA Farmers, the Pastoralists and Graziers Association, Sheep Producers Australia, Wool Producers Australia, the WA Goat Meat Industry Committee, Dairy Goat Society of Australia (WA), Livestock and Rural Transport Association (WA), WA tag manufacturers, livestock agencies, ASHEEP, the WA Livestock Exporters Association, Grower Group Alliance and DPIRD.
Megan Broad/Katrina Bowers, media liaison
+61 (0)8 9368 3937