A western NSW pastoralist has issued a standing invitation to those that thinking tagging rangeland goats is "a good idea" to have a go themselves.
Lachlan Gall from Coogee Lake Station, north of Broken Hill, said producers selling rangeland goats direct to abattoirs should be exempt from the national mandatory sheep and goat electronic identification (eID) system.
Under the current system, harvested rangeland goats are eligible for a tag-free movement option, only when sold directly from property of capture to a processor or a registered goat depot.
"Anyone that thinks tagging goats is a good idea, come out to Broken Hill and have a go at tagging themselves," Mr Gall said.
But NSW Agriculture Minister Dugald Saunders has stated "the commitment to introduce a national scheme will take on all feedback, but does not include any exemptions".
Mr Gall said the time involved in tagging rangeland goats would require extra yards, new holding paddocks or the capacity to water and feed goats when handling big mobs.
However, Mr Gall said holding them in yards for longer due to tagging would be a poor outcome in terms of animal welfare.
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"I'm very much in favour of retaining a tagging exemption for rangeland goats sold direct to slaughter from property of birth or capture because of the Work Health and Safety implications of trying to tag, in some cases big angry goats, and the associated risk of operators being injured by horns," Mr Gall said.
"Thinking about having to tag 1000 to 2000 goats before trucking them to abattoirs keeps me awake at night."
Katie Davies from the Goat Industry Council of Australia said it was fully supportive of improved traceability that was underpinned by a truly national system that had producer engagement in the process.
Mrs Davies said the tag-free movement option was in place due to animal welfare and WHS management and must be retained.
Mr Saunders said harvesting rangelands goats would continue to play a critical role for graziers in western NSW and any move to a national eID system needed to be led by industry and be workable for producers.
"Before any decisions are made we will consult with industry and make sure we implement a system that is workable for western producers," he said.
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