EID roll-out reignites debate

EID roll-out reignites debate


While Victoria mandated EID's for the sheep and some goats in 2017, the NSW sheep and goat industries still operate under the visual mob-based traceability system.

While Victoria mandated EID's for the sheep and some goats in 2017, the NSW sheep and goat industries still operate under the visual mob-based traceability system.

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Goat Council's Katie Davies says the industry faces unnecessary and costly OHS challenges and poor animal welfare outcomes thrust upon it.

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The Australian goat meat industry is making good money - but the biggest challenge we currently face is the real possibility of unnecessary and costly OHS challenges and poor animal welfare outcomes thrust upon our industry.

Governments are seeking to make changes to the management of the harvested rangeland goat, despite the goat industry making and proving the case for retaining the current tagging exemption for specific activities.

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The South Australian government is investing $7.5 million in the voluntary roll-out of electronic individual sheep identification ear-tags (EID), reigniting the conversation on sheep and goat traceability.

While Victoria mandated EID's for the sheep and some goats in 2017, the NSW sheep and goat industries still operate under the visual mob-based traceability system.

This mob based system has proved it is effectiveness as both a traceability and biosecurity tool.

Removing the current exemption for harvested rangeland goats transported direct from property of capture to an abattoir or to a registered goat depot will not enhance traceability or biosecurity, but it will place station workers at increased risk, possibly lead to adverse animal welfare outcomes and increase costs for farmers.

Retaining tagging exemptions for rangeland goat producers is essential to the industry's financial viability and ensuring that the goal of industry for sustainable and continuous supply is achieved.

Producers are well aware that ensuring traceability, biosecurity and animal welfare underpin the industry across all commodities.

Governments are seeking to make changes to the management of the harvested rangeland goat, despite the goat industry making and proving the case for retaining the current tagging exemption for specific activities. - Katie Davies

Tagging the harvested rangeland goat will effectively ensure that the harvested rangeland status will not be applicable - current practice is the animal is harvested and trucked within 24 hrs to the terminus or registered goat depot.

If the exemption is removed, it will add significant time to the process, animals will need to be feed and watered - thus removing the rangeland status - but most importantly adding undue stress on the goats for no increase in biosecurity or traceability.

There are many traceability projects currently underway, including the National Traceability Project, which will make traceability related recommendations to government.

During this process, NSW Farmers will continue to ensure that the harvested rangeland goat industry has its voice heard.

  • Katie Davies is the vice-chair of the NSW Farmers Goat Committee.
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