Getting hands on sheep electronic identification

Electronic tagging of sheep and goats is one of the biggest reforms to the agricultural industry, and Victorian Minister for Agriculture Jaala Pulford tagged some of the first Autumn lambs of the season, getting hands on the game-changing technology.

Visiting the Molesworth property just outside of Ballan, Ms Pulford electronically tagged premium dorset stud lambs.

James Molesworth, who runs a large commercial and stud sheep operation is new to electronic tagging and is keen to explore how the technology can be used to increase traceability across the supply chain.

The implementation of an electronic National Livestock Identification System (NLIS) for sheep and goats was announced by Ms Pulford in 2016 with a $17 million industry and farmer support package.

The mandatory use of electronic tags came into effect on 1 January 2017, with lambs and kids born in Victoria on or after this date requiring an electronic tag before leaving the property of birth.

Introducing this critical reform not only improves biosecurity for Victoria’s valuable sheep and goat sectors, but supports innovation, productivity, traceability and market access.

Throughout April 2017, farmers from all over the State attended on-farm workshops to learn how to take tagging to the next level, with independent experts demonstrating the potential of electronic ID for flock management, productivity improvements and profit maximisation.

Every producer has access to cost neutral tags for the first twelve months for their 2017 lambs and kids, with tags available from 35 cents each.

Farmers who are keen to be early adopters, and embrace additional on-farm benefits are encouraged to apply for grants to purchase optional equipment like readers and purpose built weighing systems. Tag prices for 2018 will be announced soon.

Funding is available across the supply chain to assist with the transition to the electronic system.