The entire livestock supply chain is responsible for traceability to help maintain market access and protect biosecurity.
Australian producers reap the benefits of world leading livestock traceability systems which shows our ability to trace livestock movements throughout the supply chain, providing confidence in a rapid response to any potential disease outbreaks.
Electronic identification has been used by the cattle industry as the means for identification for more than 20 years. There is no question implementation of sheep eID will improve state and national traceability.
Recent sheep trial work has demonstrated that the use of eID can enhance the sheep traceability system to over 98 per cent compliance. But this is not a silver bullet. There are other things each producer is responsible for to uphold the traceability SA relies upon.
At the centre of Australia's livestock traceability is the National Livestock Identification System. The NLIS is Australia's system for the identification and traceability of sheep, cattle and goats which underpins our commitment to biosecurity and food safety.
The NLIS combines three elements which allow for lifetime traceability of livestock. All physical locations where livestock are kept must be identified by a Property Identification Code; all livestock data and movements must be recorded in a central database managed by the Integrity Systems Company; and all livestock must be identified by a visual or electronic ear tag or device.
Another way the SA livestock industry can enhance our traceability system is by ensuring National Vendor Declarations are filled in accurately.
All livestock which move between PIC numbers are required to travel with a movement document, such as an NVD.
Many producers rely on using an NVD they have previously filled in and copy information which is incorrect for the new consignment into the new NVD.
The NVD is a legal document, so it is important that producers fill in the document with information that reflects the animals they are moving.
Each time an animal is moved off a PIC, it must be recorded on the NLIS database.
This is a regulatory obligation and when it isn't done, it leaves holes in our ability to trace livestock.
In SA, the transfer must be completed on the NLIS database within two days after the movement for cattle and seven days after the movement for sheep and goats.
Recording movements allows us to trace what animals are moving where and when, which is particularly important when trying to determine the source and spread of a disease.
It is the responsibility of the receiver of the livestock to complete the transfer on the NLIS database.
If you have recently purchased or moved cattle, sheep or goats from another property, it is your responsibility to ensure the transfer has been completed.
While some livestock agents offer to do the transfer as part of their service offering, producers should confirm with their agent who is going to complete the transfer.
Producers must be aware that it is their legal obligation, and they will be the one facing the non-compliance repercussions. If animals are bought, sold or moved through a saleyard, the livestock movement must be completed by the saleyard. If animals are directly consigned to the abattoir, the movement must be recorded by the abattoir.
You must ensure the animals that are on your property reflect what is recorded on the database, particularly for producers who are accredited under the Livestock Production Assurance scheme.
ISC recommend LPA-accredited producers complete a PIC reconciliation annually to identify and correct discrepancies in the database.
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