Urgent call on e-tags

TASMANIAN livestock producers are being reminded about changes to sheep traceability requirements in Victoria from January 1 next year.

From then, all sheep and goats in Victoria must have an electronic identification device (eID), in accordance with the National Livestock Identification System (NILS), before leaving a property.

More than half of Tasmania’s sheep and lambs go to Victoria for processing or as store sheep. The Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association Meat Council has issued the urgent reminder to producers.

“Given that a large percentage of Tasmania’s sheep and lambs go to Victoria it is important for Tasmanians to be aware of how this might affect them,” red meat industry development officer Elle Davis said.
“As outlined by Agriculture Victoria, Tasmanian sheep, lambs, and goats going direct from farm to processing in Victoria are required to have tags with the pic number printed on them.

“Once in Victoria and the livestock is on a farm they will need electronic NILS tags.”
“Tasmanian producers need to understand that there will be no direct changes to Tasmanian domestic exports after January 1. However, it is important for Tasmanian producers who sell store sheep and lambs to have a discussion with their agents as to whether their sheep may be more attractive to mainland buyers, if they are electronically tagged.”

The expected outcome of adopting the electronic element of the NLIS (sheep and goats) is that sheep and goats born in Victoria will be traceable in line with Australia’s National Livestock Traceability Performance Standard.

Sheep farmer and TFGA Meat Council chairman George Shea, from Lyndall Farm near Hamilton, said planned expansion would effectively double capacity and increase local market options.

“It is important producers consider all options before marketing their stock,” Mr Shea said.

The Tasmanian Government recently announced a $250,000 investment into investigating the introduction of eIDs for sheep in Tasmania.

This investment is part of the $1million red meat industry commitment made in 2020 by Primary Industries and Water Minister Guy Barnett.

This investment was made following a recommendation from the Tasmanian Red Meat Industry Steering Committee (TRMISC) upon recognising the benefits eIDs could have for Tasmanian sheep producers and the red meat industry more widely.

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