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Sheepmeat Council : Sheepmeat 2014
SHEEPMEAT COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA ANNUAL MUSTER 2014 31 INDUSTRY SYSTEMS & FOOD SAFETY National Livestock Identification System (NLIS) Traceability of livestock and product is an insurance policy for the Australian sheepmeat industry, helping to protect key export markets and mitigate against the costs of a disease outbreak. SCA has an active involvement with the NLIS (Sheep & Goats) Advisory Committee on behalf of producers, helping to implement a national identification scheme that meets the Government standards. MLA has developed the database of property identification codes to enable traceability of individual cattle and sheep flocks from property of birth. Now that the system is fully operational a new home has been sought for the company. AHA has been considered the most suitable organisation to support the ongoing management and delivery of NLIS as it has strong linkages to industry and government, coupled with a mandate for biosecurity and emergency animal disease preparedness across multiple species. During the past 12 months SCA has worked with AHA and MLA to ensure that sheepmeat producer concerns are considered during negotiations to move the NLIS database management from MLA to AHA. Sheep and cattle producers have invested significantly in the system and this needs to be reflected in the new company arrangements. Over the past 12 months, one of SCA’s key policy priorities has been to prevent the introduction of mandatory electronic livestock identification (RFIDs). There is strong support for the current mob-based tracing system for sheep and goats from national industry organisations representing the sheep and goat supply chains. We know that the system functions and is appropriate to meet traceability standards when implemented. We believe that the introduction of mandatory RFID would be a huge financial impost and would require significant resources to implement nationally. The impracticalities of implementing such a system would far outweigh any perceived benefits for our members and producers, which is why we support further technical, logistical and commercial investigations surrounding electronic identification devices so that industry and governments are better placed to consider the feasibility of such a system if needed in the future. We support the choice by individuals to use electronic identification devices on sheep and goats on a voluntary basis in their business, when they see that there is a benefit for them. SCA and the Australian Livestock and Property Agents (ALPA) believe it is time to move on from this debate on RFID and instead focus our efforts on ensuring the current system continues to work well. ALPA CEO Andy Madigan said, “In the interests of the Australian sheep industry, the current paper based system of NVDs and visual tags must be enhanced by producers. The concerns of industry must be addressed before implementation of any RFID scheme, not after its introduction.” Australian Livestock & Property Agents Association (ALPA) ALPA is the national peak industry body for livestock and property agents. ALPA is one of the largest national organisations of small rural business men and women, relied on to protect the interests of agents and producers nationally. ALPA represents more than 1,200 agency businesses across Australia. Collectively this group plays an important role in livestock, wool, merchandise and rural property sales and marketing. ALPA members handle in excess of 97% of rural agency business Australia wide. ALPA works closely with SCA and other stakeholders in the sheep industry on a range of issues, particularly those affecting our vendor clients.
Sheepmeat 2015 2016