Sheep and goat electronic identification (eID)

​​​​​​​​​Grant Round 1 of the Support Scheme​

​​​​IMPORTANT UPDATE: Grant Round 1 of the Support Scheme for sheep and goat electronic identification (eID) is now open for applications. ​Eligible applicants include saleyards, processors, livestock transporters and transport depots, livestock agencies and agents. For sheep and goat producers and show societies, a second funding round will commence 1 July 2024 – more information coming soon.

Eligible applicants for Grant Round 1 can learn more and apply for a grant by visiting the Sheep and Goat Electronic Identification (eID) - Support Scheme Grant Round 1 page.  Please ensure you meet the eligibility criteria and read the terms and conditions before applying.​

​​​​​​​​​​​What is sheep and goat eID?

eIDs are electronic identification devices, often tags or leg bands, that contain a microchip with a unique electronic identification number. eIDs are read by a scanner, which identifies the unique number of each sheep and goat. Once an eID system is implemented the tags will be scanned every time a sheep or goat moves to a new location so that their movement can be traced.

eIDs are not just for producers of sheep and goats. Once implemented in Tasmania, the new requirements will apply even if you own only a few backyard animals. You also need a Property Identification Code (PIC), as part of Australia’s National Livestock Traceability System (NLIS), to identify the property where the sheep or goat is kept.​​​

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Why are we moving toward eIDs?

In September 2022, as part of ongoing national traceability reforms, Australia’s Agriculture Ministers agreed to work collaboratively with industry to introduce national mandatory individual electronic identification (eID) for sheep and goats by 1 January 2025. eIDs have been used successfully in Australian cattle since 2005 and in Victorian sheep and goats since 2017. ​

Australia has been using a mob-based system to trace the movement of sheep and goats. In a ‘mob-based’ system, the movement of sheep and goats are recorded from property to property as ‘mobs’ using Property Identification Codes (PIC) and visual ear tags. The traceability of individual sheep and goats is very difficult to achieve through this system.

The elD system allows individual sheep and goats to be traced more accurately and efficiently. By enhancing sheep and goat traceability, Australia will be more equipped to quickly respond and recover from emergency animal disease outbreaks. Industry will significantly benefit from eID as well, improving consumer confidence in sheep and goat products, strengthening market access, and enhancing herd monitoring and management. 


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Timeframe

29 Sep 2022

  • General Biosecurity Direction (Livestock Traceability) enacted
  • Drafting of traceability regulations commenced

January - June 2023​

  • Red Meat Steering Committee Roadmap for eID implementation in Tas finalised
  • Sheep Regulatory Advisory Group established
  • Goat Regulatory Advisory Group established

November 2023

  • Tasmania's Sheep and Goat eID Implementation Plan is established

 Tas Sheep and Goat Electronic Identification Implementation Plan (PDF 516Kb)

Beginning 1 March 2024: A grant round for supply chain infrastructure

1 July 2024 – 30 June 2026: A grant round for eID tags and handheld radio-frequency identification (RFID) scanning devices

  • This round will provide rebates for NLIS approved eID ear tags and leg bands as well as handheld RFID scanning devices and required software (pocket and stick), for eligible producers and show societies (more details to come soon).​

1 Jan 2025

  • Mandatory eID tagging of sheep and goats leaving a property commences
  • All supply chain participants ready to scan eID tags

Funding

​The Australian Government has announced $46.7m to support traceability improvements in Australia over 3 years. This includes $20.1M in special purpose payments for co-investment with States and Territories to support on and off-farm improvements, including a transition to eID for sheep and goats. The remaining $26.6m is for upgrading the National Livestock Identification System (NLIS) database. ​

What support will be available to industry?

The Tasmanian Government will be introducing a Sheep and Goat eID Industry Support Scheme to assist the sheep and goat industries in Tasmania to transition to mandatory eID.

For supply chain participants (other than sheep and goat producers) - a grant of up to 75% of the full cost of purchase and installation of eligible electronic identification (eID) infrastructure.  

For show societies and not-for-profit organisations - up to 100% of the cost of purchase of handheld RFID scanning devices and required software (pocket and stick).

For sheep and goat producers, hobby farmers or landowners of pet sheep or goats:

  • A rebate of up to $1 per tag on retail price of National Livestock Identification System (NLIS) sheep and goat eID ear tags.
  • A rebate of up to $4 per tag on retail price of NLIS approved goat legband eID devices, where ear tags are not suitable for particular goat breeds.
  • Up to 75% of the cost of purchase of handheld RFID scanning devices and required software (pocket and stick).​

When will the funding be available?​

Beginning 1 March 2024: A Grant Round for Supply Chain Infrastructure

1 July 2024 – 30 June 2026: Funding for NLIS eID tags and handheld RFID scanning devices

  • This round will provide rebates for NLIS approved eID ear tags and leg bands as well as RFID scanning devices and required software (pocket and stick), for eligible producers and show societies (more details to come soon).

  • eID tags will be able to be purchased at an already rebated rate direct from participating online manufacturers and rural supply stores.   ​

  • Rebates will be available for eID tags purchased on or after 1 July 2024.

  • Details on eligibility for RFID scanning devices to be provided soon.​

What are the other benefits?

Industry Benefits

  • The ability to monitor the fertility, weight, wool traits, disease status and health treatments of individual animals, helping industry to make more informed decisions on flock and herd management, therefore improving flock performance

  • Improved individual carcass data and feedback

  • The ability to monitor lines of sheep and goats purchased from different vendors to assess profitability

  • Reduces the need to physically handle sheep and goats to check visible ear tags, reducing stress and potential injuries to animals and staff

  • A tool that can be used daily to source information quickly, including accurate flock numbers and ensuring livestock are travelling to their correct destination 

  • A better traceability system will reinforce Australia’s reputation for high food standards. This will maintain Australia’s high product integrity, improve consumer confidence, and enable Australia to deliver a product of higher value.​

Lots of sheep

Faster Ability to Respond and Recover from an Emergency Animal Disease (EAD) Outbreak

The emergence of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) and lumpy skin disease (LSD) in Indonesia has increased the risk of an incursion into Australia and reaffirmed the need for a robust and harmonised national traceability system.

In the event of an EAD outbreak or residue incident, it is critical that animal locations and movements can be traced quickly to: 

  • limit spread of the disease;

  • minimise the number of animals impacted (including animals destroyed); 

  • reduce impact on producers, the supply chain, and the community; 

  • reduce time that Australia is restricted from export markets; and

  • reduce the number of consumers impacted by food safety issues (in the case of a residue incident).

Implementation of eID in Victoria has shown that tracing now takes a matter of minutes, whereas under the visual tag, mob-based system, tracing could take several days. During the 2001 FMD outbreak in the United Kingdom, animals were not individually tagged with an eID. It took 7 weeks to trace animals, leading to the disease spreading across the country. More than 6 million animals were destroyed, and export market bans were in place for 7 years.​

In Australia, exports represent 70% of the total value of Australia's agricultural production, with the remaining 30% consumed domestically. Export market bans in Australia during an EAD would cause devastating economic losses. To reduce this economic impact, the implementation of eIDs will be critical to assist Australia in regaining market access.  

The 5 'Whys'

​The Australian Government have outlined the 5 whys for transitioning to eID. More information on the 5 ways can be found in the document below:​

 The five whys - sheep and goat eID (PDF 133Kb)​

Traceability legislation​

New regulations are being developed under the Biosecurity Act 2019 to implement mandatory identification for sheep and goats. These new regulations will be supported by a range of policies and standards and will include obligations relating to the electronic identification of sheep and goats.

Once enacted, the livestock traceability regulations will replace the Animal (Brands and Movement) Act 1984, Animal (Brands and Movement) Regulations 2014 and the General Biosecurity Direction (Livestock Traceability) 03/22, all of which will be repealed.

Tasmania's approach

Biosecurity Tasmania will work closely with industry to support the implementation of sheep and goat eID. Two industry-led advisory groups have been established to inform and support the implementation:

  • Sheep Regulatory Advisory Group (SRAG)

  • Goat Regulatory Advisory Group (GRAG)

​These groups will facilitate the implementation of sheep and goat eIDs by acting as a conduit between industry and government, and report to the Biosecurity Tasmania Traceability Governance Group (BTTAG) who are the decision-making body for Tasmania's Primary Produce Traceability Program.​​

National Sheep and Goat Task Force​

At a national level, the Australian Government has established an industry-government Sheep and Goat Traceability Task Force. This focusses on national issues such as harmonisation between states and territories to ensure the NLIS database and eID systems are compatible.​​

Consultation

There will be ongoing opportunities for industry, across the entire supply chain, to engage with Biosecurity Tasmania on the transition to eID. These opportunities will be both face-to-face and online, and will give stakeholders the chance to provide input, feedback, and share information.

Join our emailing list!

To stay up to date with implementation of sheep & goat eID in Tasmania, please subscribe to our “Biosecurity Advisory Service​.”

What's on?

Sheep and Goat Traceability Taskforce (SGTTF) Webinars

The Sheep and Goat Traceability Taskforce has been running webinars to help with the transition to eIDs. Visit the SGTTF Webinar Series webpage to access recordings of the following webinars:

  • Thursday 14 March 2024: The mechanics of NLIS - which device and when​, when/how to scan, when/how to record on the database.
  • Thursday 28 March 2024: NLIS equipment options - ​what do I actually need, and what is out there?​
  • Thursday 11 April 2024: Putting the data into database - where does my stock movement data go and how is it used? 

​Still have questions?

Please visit our Sheep and Goat eID Frequently Asked Questions Page​.​ 


Contact

The Sheep & Goat eID Industry Support Officer
Phone: 0429 968 078