The state government will continue to subsidise electronic sheep tags.
State agriculture minister Jaala Pulford said the electronic sheep tags would be available from 45 cents for 2018 – the lowest price in Australia.
Victorian Farmers Federation livestock president Leonard Vallance said the VFF had advocated for no change to on farm management practices during the roll out of the sheep electronic identification (eID) system.
As a result the subsidy will extend to all tag colours for 2018 as opposed to the ‘year by colour’ subsidy in 2017, Mr Vallance said.
“I received numerous calls from farmers telling me they don’t use ‘year by colour’ as a management practice so I took that directly to the Minister’s office and I thank Minister Pulford for listening”, he said.
Ten million sheep eID have been sold so far this year, the vast majority at a cost neutral price starting from 35 cents.
The state government said farmers had also benefited from co-funded grants to purchase optional equipment and software.
Ms Pulford also said $1.47 million from the $17 million Sheep and Goat Transition fund had been allocated to help meat processors implement electronic identification.
The roll-out of eID along the supply chain has also continued with nine abattoirs already scanning and uploading data to the National Livestock Identification System.
All 22 Victorian saleyards had submitted applications for funding to support their compulsory eID scanning of sheep and goats from March 31, 2018 and were being assessed.
The introduction this year of the eID system along the sheep supply chain aims to provide a lifetime traceability guarantee.