THE Andrews Labor Government will continue to subsidise electronic sheep tags, ensuring they remain the cheapest in the country.
Visiting a farm near Donald, Minister for Agriculture Jaala Pulford announced ongoing support from the Andrews Labor Government for the cheapest electronic sheep tags to be available from just 45 cents for 2018 –the lowest price in Australia.
All sheep and goats born in Victoria since 1 January 2017 require an electronic tag.
Ten million have been sold so far this year, the vast majority at a cost neutral price starting from 35 cents.
Farmers have also benefitted from co-funded grants to purchase optional equipment and software.
Minister Pulford will also announce $1.47 million from the $17 million Sheep and Goat Transition fund to help meat processors implement electronic identification.
Introducing this important reform to electronically tag sheep and goats and upload the data to the National Livestock Identification System (NLIS) protects market access for our valuable livestock industries and supports innovation and greater productivity through the supply chain.
The roll-out of this program continues with nine abattoirs already scanning and uploading data to the NLIS and saleyards gearing up to meet their requirements.
In addition, all 22 Victorian saleyards have now submitted their applications for funding to support compulsory scanning of sheep and goats from 31 March 2018.
Applications closed on 31 October and are currently being assessed.
Since the sheep and goat electronic identification announcement last year there have been further benefits including industryfunded research and development, and greater use of data on Victorian farms.
“We’re supporting farmers and ensuring electronic sheep and goat tags in Victoria remain the cheapest in the country,” Ms Pulford said.
“The Andrews Labor Government will not leave the industry to absorb these system changes alone – we’re continuing to subsidise electronic tags for sheep and goats.
“As more and more electronic tags are being manufactured the unit price is dropping, easing this transition for Victorian producers’ longer term.”