NSW cattle industry reaches milestone for lifelong traceability of stock

The NSW cattle industry will enter a new era of livestock management when the next phase of requirements for the National Livestock Identification System (NLIS) comes into play tomorrow (1 July).

As of 1 July, all cattle in NSW must be fitted with an approved NLIS electronic device before leaving their property. All transactions at saleyards and abattoirs must also be recorded on the national NLIS database.

NLIS Manager for the Department of Primary Industries (DPI), Murray Spicer, said the requirements are part of a three-year staged rollout of NLIS in this State.

'This system is about protecting the marketability and reputation of our $4 billion beef and dairy industries in NSW,' he said.

'It will provide us with one of the most sophisticated electronic traceback systems in the world. While NLIS cannot prevent animal disease, it will be an invaluable tool to help us quickly and efficiently trace the source of an outbreak or other issues within NSW cattle herds.'

Mr Spicer said there has been a steady push from consumers and governments around the world to improve and computerise livestock management systems.

'Our efforts send a strong message to international trading partners that NSW is serious about meeting the demands of the global marketplace. We are also serious about protecting the reputation of our hard working beef and dairy producers.

'Recent situations involving BSE in the US and Canada highlight the importance of being able to quickly and accurately trace the movements of cattle — from birth through to processing.

'The NSW Government has been working closely with industry over the past two years to bring NLIS to life in this State, and I appreciate the efforts of everyone involved.

'I hope the various industry sectors recognise the importance of NLIS and comply with the 1 July requirements.

'We know there will be some issues along the way, and we will work cooperatively with anyone who has legitimate difficulties meeting the new requirements.

'However, those individuals who show blatant disregard for the system will face penalties, without hesitation.'

For additional information about NLIS, industry can call the NLIS hotline on 1 300 720 405.