SHADOW Minister for Agriculture Peter Walsh has called on the Andrews Government to commit to a 12-month extension on the rollout of electronic identification (eID) at Victorian saleyards.
Agriculture Minister Jaala Pulford said she believed there were no serious concerns with the implementation of eID of sheep and goats.
However, Victorian saleyard operators have reported concerns, saying they won’t be ready to scan eID tags by March 2018 because software needed to share data with the National Livestock Identification System (NLIS) is still being trialled.
Asked about industry concerns, Ms Pulford told state parliament she was satisfied with how the rollout was progressing.
“The Agriculture Minister is burying her head in the sand and hoping eID will implement itself,” Mr Walsh said.
“I recently met with stock agents, vendors and transport operators in Hamilton who echoed serious concerns with the slow progress – a 12-month extension is needed to make sure eID is rolled out properly.
“Saleyard operators have been begging to meet with the minister and discuss their concerns, but they’ve struggled to get a look in.
“Until the software to scan and upload data to the NLIS has been properly tested in a sale environment, saleyards can’t start to plan for its installation.
“Daniel Andrews must extend the deadline and make sure the rollout is done right the first time, rather than risk it turning into another Labor rush job.”
The Andrews Labor government is yet to announce a tag price for 2018.