South Australia’s 2025 eID tag mandate and what it means for you.
What’s changing and why?
As of January 1, 2025, it will become mandatory for Aussie farmers to tag their sheep and goats with NLIS-accredited electronic identification tags (eID) before leaving their property of birth.
These eID tags have been used in the cattle industry for a while now, and some producers have already been using eID’s in their sheep mobs for on-farm management and production decisions.
The change to mandatory eID tags is being made to improve livestock traceability in the event of a disease outbreak such as Foot and Mouth Disease. The date for 2025 has been proposed, obviously due to biosecurity threats on our doorstep, which have pushed the cause, but also to allow sufficient time for the transition.
What tags do we use?
We suggest using Leader Multipin Sheep tags, Allflex RapidID tags, or lightweight Tamperproof tags.
Pics below (from top: Leader Multipin, Allflex RapID, Allflex Tamperproof):
How do they work?
The eID tags contain a radio frequency identifier microchip that enables them to be read by a panel reader or a scanning wand, which enables electronic rather than paper record keeping. The technology has been well developed and has been used in SA in the cattle industry since 2004.
What’s the plan?
The plan for South Australia is to roll out the transition in 2 steps:
- Sheep and goats born after January 1st 2025 will need an eID tag before they can leave their property of birth.
- From January 1st 2027, all sheep and goats will require an eID tag to leave a property.
The South Australian Government will support this first stage of the mandate as a part of the 2023-24 Budget by providing a 50% discount for tags in 2023-24 and 2024-25. On top of this, there will be support of 75% towards costs associated with essential infrastructure throughout the supply chain.
Will the government help with costs?
The increased cost of the tags is an obvious point of contention for producers. And we’ll keep watching this space in the coming years. But thankfully, if you have already bought eID tags since 1 January 2023, you can now apply for a rebate on eligible eID tags. As per PIRSA, the eID Device Rebate offers a 50% rebate up to a cap of $0.95 (GST exclusive) on the purchase price of each 2023 year of birth NLIS accredited eID tag. The rebate is part of the Government of South Australia’s support package to assist with the national transition to eID.
To be eligible for the eID Device Rebate, you must:
- be a South Australian sheep or farmed goat producer
- have an active property identification code (PIC) and be registered with PIRSA
- provide proof of payment for the purchase of eligible eID tags.
Eligible devices must:
- be NLIS-accredited eID breeder tags for sheep and goats
- be the correct year-of-birth colour for 2023 (sky blue)
- have been purchased between 1 January – 31 December 2023.
What are the benefits?
There are a variety of benefits associated with the mandate for the livestock sector, with improvements to the efficiency and accuracy of livestock traceability as the main intent. Remember that this isn’t only important for diseases like FMD but also useful for local diseases such as Footrot and OJD.
The technology will also be helpful for livestock production outside of traceability. For instance, performance data for individual animals will be greatly enabled with record keeping for pregnancy status, ram allocation, and drenching history, amongst all other livestock data you might want to capture. So, (once prices come back up) this would enable the possibility for insightful data to help you make key decisions and ROI.
Don’t stress. EID tags are easy to put into sheep. You can still print your name and PIC number on the tags. And, apart from the price, everything will stay the same.