RFID in Australian Livestock Industry
The Sheep RFID Industry Panel Session was held at the Livestock Saleyard Association of Victoria (LSAV) conference. All of the industry bodies stated that they were interested in deploying an RFID system, but the panel differed in who would be responsible and how would it be funded.
Victoria is the prime to introduce an electronic tag system, due to the large number of sheep through the saleyards.
However, there are some speculations over it: should the implementation of RFID be a single State trial or should it be done nationwide? And if it is to be a State trial, should it be Victoria?
Comments arouse against Victoria of being an industry leader, because of cross-border movements between Victoria and NSW, and cross-contamination of information.
Everyone would have to work together for a successful outcome; therefore it should be national, said Ian Feldtmann, a member of the panel.
Right now, without electronic tags or a tag reading system, producers have to list tag numbers on the National Vendor Declaration (NVD) forms by their own. If there is any change, they need to recheck the information and add it onto the forms.
With RFID, the process can be cut down into a much shorter one. Deploying electronic systems make it a lot easier for producers to collect the information.
Another member of the panel Dr. Britt said, introducing an RFID system would benefit all involved in the livestock industry.
“Otherwise, if we have a Foot and Mouth outbreak, and we cannot instantly say where livestock are, or where they are going, the impact on export alone will be huge,” he said. “Even if we can do it correctly, it will take a lot to convince other countries that we have the disease under control and can offer a safe product.”