The national Peak Industry Councils representing and promoting the needs of Australia’s lamb, sheepmeat, wool producers and the goat industries have provided comment on the draft consultation paper “Electronic National Livestock Identification System (NLIS) (Sheep & Goats) – A transition package for Victoria”.
Richard Halliday, WoolProducers Australia President says that the Councils recognise the importance of traceability to underpin Australia’s biosecurity, food safety and product integrity systems. “We have worked hard and have made a significant contribution to the development of a national mob-based identification and traceability system since the introduction of the NLIS in 2005”.
Sheepmeat Council President Jeff Murray expressed concern about the decision by the Victorian Government to implement mandatory RFIDs on the Victorian sheep and goat industry outside of the national approach has the potential to undermine the NLIS system. “This decision is all the more disappointing considering the Victorian Government’s 2014 commitment that they would not mandate electronic identification for sheep and goats” he said.
GICA President Rick Gates said that the decision impacts the entire supply chain. “The proposal raises significant financial and operational implications for both Victorian and interstate producers and the supply chain. It also has ramifications for incorporating RFIDs into the NLIS” he stated.
In their submissions to the Victorian Government, the Councils have recommended that the electronic identification system in Victoria remains based on the mob-based premise to ensure harmonisation with the national system and to maintain the integrity of the NLIS database.
The Councils have also asked that the government consider delaying the implementation of the system to allow industry to properly research, design and incorporate new additional infrastructure while modifying that which already exists.