Negotiations are underway between Animal Health Australia and Meat & Livestock Australia to transfer the management of the National Livestock Identification System database to AHA.
Subject to due diligence, the transfer will take place in mid-2014, an MLA/AHA joint statement issued this afternoon said.
The NLIS database stores property identification codes and livestock movements to enable livestock to be rapidly traced during an emergency disease response. NLIS Limited operates the database on behalf of the NLIS program, which is overseen by the SafeMeat partnership.
NLIS Limited is a wholly-owned subsidiary company of MLA which was created in 2009, with the support of the red meat livestock industries and governments. Since then, NLIS has evolved to apply nationally to the cattle, sheep and goat industries.
“MLA was charged with developing a database of PICs to enable traceability of individual cattle and sheep flocks from property of birth,"MLA managing director Scott Hansen said.
"That system is now fully operational, and after consultation with industry and government, endorsement has been received to proceed into negotiations on the transfer to AHA,” he said.
The transfer of the database is expected to enable expansion of the system to cover more areas of agricultural production that require traceability for biosecurity purposes.
“Given its strong linkages to industry and government, coupled with a mandate for biosecurity and emergency animal disease preparedness across multiple species, AHA was identified as the most suitable organisation to support the ongoing management and delivery of NLIS,” Mr Hansen said.
AHA chief executive Kathleen Plowman, said her organisation was excited about the opportunities that the transfer of NLIS to AHA’s administration presented to all its members.
“There are significant synergies between NLIS Ltd and AHA. For example, identification and the rapid tracing of animals during an emergency disease response increases the likelihood of controlling the disease outbreak and minimising the costly effects on the affected industry and its supporting sectors,” she said.
The transfer relates only to the NLIS database. Strategic decision-making and policy-setting for NLIS will remain the responsibility of the SafeMeat partnership.