Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development Clare Scriven has hit back at Liberal Party claims made at a public meeting in Millicent last week.
The meeting was held by the Liberal Party at the Grand Hotel, as part of the Liberals “Listening Tour” with former Federal politician Nicolle Flint and Liberal MLC Ben Hood.
Mount Graham farmer Duan Williams told the meeting he had a “beef” about “lamb” as farmers were obliged to pay for electronic identification tags of sheep.
He said it was a huge cost to farmers and an exemption should be granted to South East producers as up to 60% of their lambs go directly to slaughter.
Mr Hood said the Liberals had regularly quizzed Minister Scriven in the Legislative Council about the identification tags.
“She does not seem to care,” Mr Hood said.
However, Minister Scriven rebuffed that claim, telling The SE Voice that biosecurity initiatives were a priority for the State Government.
“It’s disappointing to see Ben Hood politicise what is such an important biosecurity initiative for South Australia’s primary producers and farmers,” Minister Scriven said.
“We have heard from industry they continue to support the importance of an electronic identification system being implemented as an efficient system to trace disease outbreaks and protect our livestock industries.
“The South Australian Government continues to support a national approach to the individual tracking of sheep and farmed goats to improve our world-leading livestock traceability systems and ensure they remain fit for purpose.
“South Australia has one of the most generous tag subsidies in place of all of the states. A $12.8m eID implementation program, incorporating $9.3m allocated in the 2023-24 State Budget, includes both tag support for producers and rebates for essential eID infrastructure for the supply chain.
“South Australia will continue to progress towards the introduction of a mandatory sheep and goat eID system to occur in South Australia by 1 January 2025. Rollout is being informed by key stakeholders including Livestock SA and the Industry Advisory Committee – including representatives of sheep, meat and goat producers, livestock and property agents, major saleyards and markets, and livestock transporters.”