Western Australian cattle producers will continue to receive assistance from the Department of Agriculture and Food cattle National Livestock Identification System (NLIS) helpdesk until June 2017 following a two-year funding extension from the WA cattle industry.
The extension is being jointly funded from the repealed Cattle Industry Compensation Fund held in trust and managed by the Cattle Industry Management Committee (CIMC) and the Cattle Industry Biosecurity and Food Safety Association fund.
CIMC chair David Jarvie said improving the traceability of cattle through the entire supply chain was vital in growing markets and safeguarding Western Australia’s reputation as a producer of safe, high-quality meat.
“Demand for the helpdesk service is likely to continue increasing, especially given new requirements for breeder cattle to China that require accurate records which demonstrate six-month residency requirements on the NLIS database,” Mr Jarvie said.
Hyden farmer and WA Lot Feeders Association president Trevor Hinck said producers saw the helpdesk as valuable and appreciated having someone local who was practical and knowledgeable in how the system worked.
Department Animal Product Integrity manager Peter Gray said the NLIS database was critical if a disease outbreak or food safety incident occurred as it allowed industry and government to rapidly trace livestock.
“To meet traceability requirements, all cattle in Western Australia are required to have a NLIS (electronic) device fitted to their right ear before movement from any property,” Dr Gray said.
“Each time an animal moves to a different property or to the saleyard or abattoir it is scanned on arrival and the movement details recorded on the NLIS database.
“While WA cattle producers have a high compliance rate with NLIS recording, maintaining and improving this rate is crucial to grow our export opportunities.
“The helpdesk officer provides technical support and training to producers who have any difficulties with recording movement information on the database and corrects any data entry errors.”
Established in 2012, the WA cattle NLIS helpdesk is operated by department technical officer Jack Nixon from the Bunbury office.
Source: Department of Agriculture and Food Western Australia. The cattle NLIS helpdesk can be contacted on +61 (0)8 9780 6222 or email firstname.lastname@example.org