Manager Livestock Traceability Ben Fahy said in late 2020, Agriculture Victoria tendered for the supply of ear tags in Victoria to be used for the electronic identification of cattle, as part of the National Livestock Identification System (NLIS).
“Traceability, through the NLIS, protects the reputation of Victoria’s livestock industries as a supplier of safe food and enables efficient response during disease outbreak or food safety emergency,” Mr Fahy said.
The retail price of the NLIS (Cattle) tag brand under the new supply contracts had already been reduced in April 2021 from $0.74 to $0.64 per tag. From this week (1 August 2021) the tags are now available to Victorian cattle producers from $0.44 per tag.
This is a result of the Victorian Cattle Compensation Advisory Committee providing an extra $0.20 per tag for online orders.
The starting price of 44 cents for the cheapest tag will apply when purchased via Agriculture Victoria’s Tags on-line NLIS tag purchasing service.
“It’s important to remember that traceability is an important responsibility for all livestock owners – whether you’ve got a large herd or a few pet cows – and you must follow the requirements.
Victoria’s cattle producers are expected to save in the order of $10 million in reduced tag prices over the five-year term of supply contracts.
The contracted prices of tags will be covered by producers through the retail prices they pay and by a tag subsidy sourced from the Cattle Compensation Fund.
The retail price of NLIS (Cattle) tags will be reviewed on an annual basis in consultation with the Cattle Compensation Advisory Committee.
Electronic NLIS ear tags are used to identify livestock and allow the electronic recording of data as livestock move for biosecurity, food safety and market access purposes, protecting Victoria’s reputation as a supplier of wholesome meat and dairy products.
Cattle must have an NLIS (Cattle) tag in their ear at the time they are dispatched to another property, to a saleyard or scales, or to an abattoir or knackery.
The party receiving the cattle can then read the tags and report movement details to the NLIS database for future use in the management of disease and food safety incidents.
Cattle owners can also call Agriculture Victoria’s helpline on 1800 678 779 between 9 am and 4.30 pm Monday to Friday.