Livestock

ID progress pleases

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October 31, 2017

Debate around electronic identification technology continues.

The VFF remains satisfied with the implementation of electronic identification technology at saleyards, abattoirs and knackeries, despite some questioning whether the technology and industry is ready for the March 2018 launch date.

VFF livestock president Leonard Vallance said he was satisfied with the progress following a meeting with Agriculture Victoria two weeks ago.

‘‘We’ve always had concerns about the new technology working in the yards because of the variability of different yards, and there’s training associated with the software as well. But the opinion was the saleyards would be up and running,’’ Mr Vallance said.

‘‘I think the introduction of any new technology always brings about unforeseen issues and you’ve just got to suck it up and see sometimes.’’

Saleyards, abattoirs and knackeries progressively began scanning electronic tags and uploading the information to the National Livestock Identification System database from July 1 this year in preparation for the March 31, 2018 deadline where all electronically tagged sheep and goats must be scanned in saleyards and uploaded to the database.

A final cost for the tags, which has been subsidised for the past 12 months, is yet to be announced but Mr Vallance said he expected the minister would announce a price within the next week.

Shadow Victorian Agriculture Minister Peter Walsh raised concerns about the eID scheme last week, accusing Agriculture Minister Jaala Pulford of being in denial about the implementation.

‘‘I recently met with stock agents, vendors and transport operators in Hamilton who echoed serious concerns with the slow progress. A 12-month extension is needed to make sure eID is rolled out properly,’’ Mr Walsh said.

‘‘Saleyard operators have been begging to meet with the minister and discuss their concerns, but they’ve struggled to get a look-in.’’

Mr Walsh said the software to scan and upload data to the NLIS should be properly tested in a sale environment before implementation but Ms Pulford told Victorian Parliament last week she was satisfied with the progression of the rollout.

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