Australian Livestock and Property Agents continue to express concern to the Victorian Minister for Agriculture and Agriculture Victoria over the timing to roll out mandatory RFID scanning in Victoria.
According to ALPA, no commercial trials have been conducted in a sale environment and the trials that have been conducted have been to observe the flow of sheep and to find the optimum location for scanners.
ALPA was very concerned to learn Regional Development Minister Jaala Pulford’s comments in Parliament earlier this month that the ‘‘Ballarat Saleyards, one of the 14 that we are supporting through this reform, is already up and running’’.
‘‘This statement is not totally correct. While there are lambs being scanned and uploaded to the NLIS (National Livestock Identification System) database from the Ballarat Saleyards, it must be acknowledged that not all tagged lambs are being scanned and tag information uploaded,’’ ALPA says.
‘‘At the October 17 sale (Ballarat’s lamb sale), approximately 80percent of lambs in the yarding had RFID tags. However, only 25 per cent or 4000 lambs were scanned, and that information uploaded to the NLIS database.
‘‘We also note that scanning was conducted by the staff of the saleyards using hand scanners only.’’
ALPA said they aknowledged the proactiveness of this saleyard to be scanning well before the introduction date, but the majority of saleyards did not have the required infrastructure or software to facilitate scanning.
‘‘ALPA members have expressed concern that the current timeframes put in place may not be achievable.’’
ALPA called on Ms Pulford and Agriculture Victoria not to rush to meet a deadline and to look at each saleyard on a case-by-case basis.
‘‘We fear this rush is where costly mistakes will be made which will impact upon the viability of Victorian saleyards, which is a very important aspect of the livestock supply chain.’’