Livestock SA … Your strong and independent voice for livestock producers
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Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Mandatory RFID will impose high costs and complicate trade

Livestock SA says today’s announcement by the Victorian Government to mandate the use of electronic identification for sheep demonstrates a lack of consultation with its partners in a national industry and will impose a high cost on their producers.
President Geoff Power says for South Australian producers, it will complicate trade across the border to Victoria and for those who do want to trade, it will impose higher costs as they have to adopt the Victorian policy.
“Livestock SA is not against electronic tagging because we see its use does hold benefits on-farm however we don’t see any reason for the introduction of a mandatory RFID system at a state or national level – not here in SA nor interstate,” Mr Power said.
“This is for the simple reason that the tags will cost producers more and also the cost of infrastructure to implement and run the system is huge and will require millions of dollars of investment.
“For South Australia, there are implications for cross-border transactions and movements of sheep between SA and Victoria. It complicates trade and creates a barrier for SA producers to engage with the Victorian market as they have for many decades.”
Mr Power says the present system of mob-based traceability under the National Livestock Identification System works well with a compliance rate higher than 96 per cent in SA.
“Livestock SA does not believe that RFID tags being made mandatory will progress the industry,” he said.
“While the Victorian government is prepared to fund some of the infrastructure upgrades we all know that this seed funding will have a sunset clause and then the cost will come back to industry when future upgrades are needed. It is the initial cost and the ongoing cost of the infrastructure that will need to be considered.”
For media interviews:
Geoff Power, Livestock SA President, 0428 581 067.

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