Australian Livestock Saleyards Association’s (ALSA) Mark McDonald and Sheep and Goats Identification Advisory Committee chair Stuart McLean.

Victoria’s $17m allocation for eIDS

The Victorian state government has announced a $17 million package to support the introduction of electronic identification technology for sheep and goat producers.

Agriculture Minister Jaala Pulford made the announcement at a meeting of Victorian livestock representatives in Ballarat on Friday. From January 1, 2017, all new born sheep and goats in Victoria will require electronic tags. 

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

The government will offer 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 sheep and goat producers in 2017 will be 35 cents each, while the cost of tags for 2018 and 2019 would be announced in 2017.

To enable cost-neutral tags the government will provide 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, while producers could also access co-funded grants to purchase equipment and software.

The electronic system will run alongside the visual system, which is anticipated to be fully implemented in 2022.

The workshop was held at Federation University’s Mt Helen campus with saleyard owners, operators, agents, transporters and service providers attending.