Expert Committee Set To Improve Sheep and Goat Traceability
4 May 2016
Members of a new committee are set to provide expert advice on improving the traceability of sheep and goats for efficiency, biosecurity and food safety purposes have been confirmed today.
Dr Charles Milne, Victoria's Chief Veterinary Officer, said that the purpose of the Victoria's Sheep and Goats Identification Advisory Committee will be to ensure tracking and tracing is reliable and robust should there be an emergency animal disease or food safety issue.
"We want to hear directly from industry experts on how we can maximise the efficiency of the National Livestock Identification System (NLIS) system for the tracking of sheep and goats as well as for the benefit of the whole farming sector," Dr Milne said.
Members of the committee include livestock producer and Chair of the Committee Stuart McLean and Gerald Leach, Victorian Farmer's Federation Land Management Chair.
"Both Mr McLean and Mr Leach are well established sheep and cattle farmers who have considerable saleyard and industry experience."
Noel Kelson and Belinda Dexter, who hold senior positions in the meat processing sector, will also be on the committee along with Georgina Gubbins, a prime lamb and angus cattle producer.
"Ms Gubbins has more than 20 years' experience managing her family farm and is a leading advocate in the use of identification technology for performance management."
The industry figures will be joined by Cassandra Meagher who will represent the Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources.
The committee members are appointed after a call for interest and competitive selection process.
Every member of the committee has experience and knowledge of the Victorian sheep or goat industry, its biosecurity threats and market access opportunities.
"Our livestock industries have exports of $6.7 billion a year - it's vital that we have the best possible systems in place to help safeguard this vital trade," Dr Milne said.
"The committee will investigate ways to improve the NLIS for sheep and goats such as considering whether to improve the reliability of visually readable ear tags or encourage the adoption of electronic ear tags."
"After its investigation, the committee will advise the government which option best suits Victoria."
Chair of the committee Stuart McLean said he was looking forward to working with the other committee members and key stakeholders to improve the effectiveness of sheep and goat identification.
"There are opportunities with the use of electronic identification technology, I would urge everyone across the sector to have a good look at what is available and to consider how they might utilise new systems to improve effectiveness and efficiencies across the supply chain," Mr McLean said.
Categorised under: Agriculture