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    MINISTER VISITS: Victorian Agriculture Minister Jaclyn Symes, right, inspects a sheep and goat electronic identification system with Horsham mayor Mark Radford, left, and Horsham Regional Livestock Exchange manager Paul Christopher. Picture: PAUL CARRACHER
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    Agriculture minister Jaclyn Symes tours Horsham Regional Livestock Exchange with Paul Christopher, Mark Radford and Agriculture Victoria livestock tracking manager Ben Fahy.

AgLife: Agriculture Minister checks on electronic system

Victorian Agriculture Minister Jaclyn Symes has used a visit to the Wimmera to see a sheep and goat electronic identification system in action at Horsham Regional Livestock Exchange.

Ms Symes confirmed the state’s transition to the electronic identification system, designed to make Victoria’s livestock industry more innovative and efficient, was almost complete.

Horsham saleyards is celebrating 20 years of operation this year and, as the fourth largest lamb market in Victoria and processing 600,000 sheep a year, has been a leader in applying the technology and creating its own efficiencies.

Victoria started its transition to mandatory electronic identification for sheep and goats on January 1, 2017. Changes across the supply chain, from on-farm tagging to scanning and data processing at saleyards and abattoirs, has led to advances in efficiency and data integrity.

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The reform has improved the state’s ability to trace sheep and goats, leading to high levels of consumer confidence and access to export markets.

In 2017-18, Victoria exported $1.4-billion in sheep meat and $2.1-billion in wool, demonstrating the role the sheep industry played in regional and rural Victorian communities as well as the nation overall.

The State Government, in is 2019-20 budget also invested $142.5-million to boost Victoria’s biosecurity system, representing the largest investment of its type in the state’s history.

Ms Symes said on her visit to Horsham that traceability underpinned Victoria’s biosecurity system.

“Having a world-class livestock-identification system gives Victoria’s trading partners confidence in our secure agriculture industry, as well as strengthening our ability to trace diseases and keep Victoria consumers safe in the event on an exotic disease outbreak,” she said.

“Our innovations and traceability wouldn’t be possible without our industry partners – including Meat and Livestock Australia, who have invested in this change with us and continue to support the benefits of keeping Victoria at the forefront of this technology.”

The entire November 27, 2019 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!

The entire November 27, 2019 edition of AgLife is available online. READ IT HERE!