AT a meeting last week, a group of state and federal agricultural ministers came together and agreed to a national electronic identification strategy. So far, so good.
Then, some of those ministers came out and announced it to their constituents. Others did not. The problem is, when you only share half the story, often the gaps leave room for rumours and uncertainty.
Some ministers used the term 'mandatory', while others were very careful about not using the M word. But surely an eID scheme that is not mandatory is not dissimilar to the system already in place?
While we wait for more details - such as timelines and financial support - I think the term that springs most to mind is 'knee-jerk reaction'.
It seems to be in reaction to foot and mouth disease, but will in no way be ready in time for a potential incursion.
Speaking of rumours and FMD ... There are benefits to having this topic on the radar.
I'd like to think the increased focus on biosecurity may also pay off if we can get travellers to think a little more about declaring everything as they come through customs.
But there also needs to be some responsibility.
Farming can be a stressful enough job, without bad information being spread and creating more hysteria.
I'd like to think we are on the right side of the media. I expect phone calls if we're not.
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