ID tag revolution


THE National Livestock Identification Scheme (NLIS) was officially used for the first time in the Clarence Valley yesterday.

The new system was implemented without a hitch.

Grafton Regional Livestock Selling Centre saleyard manager Ian Reid said it had been a successful launch, with nearly 750 head of cattle sold.

"We're pretty happy with the way things have gone today," he said.

"It's a bit of trial and error today ... we'll make some changes to our drafting of cattle procedures, but I'm pretty happy with the way it's gone."

Mr Reid said the system did not noticeably slow the sale down.

"We've had a few practice goes at it before the start today and we're starting to work it out," he said.

"We had a few bugs, but everyone is working towards getting it working, it's not too bad."

Grafton stock agent Peter McCrohon said although the official launch of the system had been a triumph, some kinks still needed to be worked out.

"There's still plenty of pre-sale preparations and yard work that is necessary for it to be a real success, but everyone is pretty pleased with it today," he said.

"It's very much a trial day, and it's been a terrific success."

The NLIS is a database for cattle. From July 1, all cattle which leave a property are required to be identified with a NLIS ear tag.

All stock sold to an abattoir or through a saleyard in NSW is required to be scanned and its movement details reported to the NLIS database by the saleyard or abattoir.

Mr Reid said the system would help trace the source of disease outbreaks, and help protect the cattle industry.

He said the NLIS worked by making the cattle walk through a scanner before entering the sale arena. The scanner picks up the radio frequency of the tag which is attached to the animal's ear, which then relays the owner's information to a computer system.

Mr Reid said the technology had been accepted by most cattle producers.

"They realise it's an essential part of the industry and I think they've accepted it okay."

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