Sheep EID roll out proceeding well

Poll Merino breeders Alan and Hamish Wishart of Inverleigh talk with Agriculture Victoria's Garry Armstrong about the sheep electronic identification (EID) program. Picture: Everard Himmelreich
Poll Merino breeders Alan and Hamish Wishart of Inverleigh talk with Agriculture Victoria's Garry Armstrong about the sheep electronic identification (EID) program. Picture: Everard Himmelreich

The roll out of the sheep Electronic Identification (EID) system in Victoria was proceeding well with the latest step completed without many hiccups, an Agriculture Victoria spokesman says.

Speaking at the 2018 Sheepvention, senior sheep specialist Garry Armstrong said all Victorian saleyards including Hamilton now had EID systems operating.

“Hamilton is performing well,” Mr Armstrong said.

The latest March 31 deadline for the EID system also required farmers to record property to property movements for sheep born after January 1, 2017.

“Producers have got on board and the processors are keen about it (EID),” Mr Armstrong said.

“For inventory management, they (processors) know which animal had a problem,” he said.

Apart from the traceability benefits, EID also gave producers opportunities to maximise returns.

“They can understand the weight gains on lambs. They can keep track of the reproductive performance of their ewes,” Mr Armstrong said.

Poll Merino stud operators Alan and Hamish Wishart of Inverleigh agreed that EID had been useful to their enterprise. Alan Wishart said he had a few teething problems with it but having a young son on the farm who was more comfortable with the technology had eased its implementation.

Among the ways the Wisharts have utilised EID were to use its information to contribute to the Australian Sheep Breeding Values on particular sheep and collate the birth rates of ewes.

The next step in the roll out of EID will be the start of tagging on January 1, next year of sheep from interstate that are born after January 1, 2019. The sheep must be tagged before they leave a Victorian property.

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