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From the Minister for Agriculture
Media Release, November 29, 2007
The Brumby Government will almost halve the cost of electronic identification tags to Victorian sheep farmers, delivering on a $1 million Commitment from this years' budget to support the introduction of electronic ID tags on a voluntary basis.
Visiting a fine wool farm at Broadwater in western Victoria today, Victoria’s Agriculture Minister Joe Helper announced that the Brumby Government would immediately make electronic tags available to sheep farmers who choose to use them.
"There has been considerable producer interest in using electronic identification technology because of the significant limitations of tags that can only be read visually," Mr Helper said.
"However electronic tag prices in the order of $2.50 per tag have discouraged uptake, however, the Brumby Government has been able to almost halve this cost to $1.35 per tag."
Mr Helper said that farmers would also be able to access the Brumby Governments’ 1 million dollar subsidy on a dollar-for-dollar basis, up to $2,500 from the Brumby Government to help them purchase readers, software and technical support.
‘The Department of Primary Industries has also applied for funding from the Federal Government to complement our grant to producers," Mr Helper said.
Mr Helper said each electronic tag would be printed with a visually readable Property Identification Code (PIC) and serial number and this would help fight against a disease outbreak.
"We know that, with all States participating in the cattle electronic identification system, almost 99 per cent of cattle can be traced back to their property of birth within 24 hours," he said.
"We need such a speedy system, which is not reliant on paper records, to protect our livestock from the spread of dangerous diseases such as foot and mouth.
"Victoria led the world in implementing this ‘best practice’ system to identify and track cattle, and we are now leading Australia in authorising electronic sheep and goat tags to be used on a voluntary basis as part of the NLIS (Sheep and Goats) scheme."
Mr Helper said Victoria’s Sheep and Goat Identification Advisory Committee (SIAC) supports the initiative, and has agreed to oversee the introduction of electronic technology within all sectors of the Victorian sheep industry.
Mr Helper also discussed wool issues with local producers and members of the Hawkesdale VFF.
For information on electronic NLIS (Sheep) tags and on producer grants, visit DPI’s web site at www.dpi.vic.gov.au/nlis, or call NLIS Helpline on 1800 678 779 during business hours.
Last updated: 31 March 2008
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