Electronic tags for sheep and goats to be rolled out across Queensland

News release | 21-Aug-2023

Individual electronic identification (eID) for sheep and goats will commence in Queensland from 1 January 2025 as a part of the agreed national initiative.

All states and territories have agreed to work towards mandatory implementation of sheep and goat eIDs, working alongside industry, to improve tracing and support an emergency animal disease (EAD) outbreak. 

The current visual mob-based system is slower and not as accurate as individual electronic tags for tracing sheep and goat movements, particularly if there is an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD).

An eID is a device with a microchip inside, generally in an ear tag. This technology has been used successfully for cattle in Australia since 2005 and sheep and goats in Victoria since 2017.  

The national eID system has three elements to enable rapid contact tracing:

•    Each location having a property identification code (PIC). 
•    Using an ear tag with a microchip inside to identify each animal. 
•    Entering the necessary information for each animal into the National Livestock Identification System (NLIS) database.

The Queensland Traceability Advisory Group (QTAG) - made up of government agencies and key industry representatives across the sheep and goat supply chain - has been meeting to plan the eID rollout across the state and address concerns that producers and relevant industry members may have.  

A series of information workshops has begun across Queensland to inform people about eIDs and their introduction.

Workshops will be held as follows:

•    Blackall, Tuesday 29 August, 9.30-11.30am, Blackall Cultural Centre   
•    Longreach, Wednesday 30 August 2023, 9.30-11.30am, DAF office, 10357 Landsborough Highway   
•    St George, Tuesday 5 September, 9.30-11.30am, St George Cultural Centre   
•    Goondiwindi, Wednesday 6 September, 9.30-11.30am, Goondiwindi Waggamba Community Cultural Centre 
•    Inglewood, Thursday 7 September, 9.30-11.30am, Inglewood Civic Centre  
•    Meandarra, Friday 8 September, 9.30-11.30am, Meandarra School of Arts Hall  

Producers can register to attend via https://daf.engagementhub.com.au/goat-sheep-eid.

Queensland Chief Biosecurity Officer Rachel Chay said: 

“Queensland is moving to mandatory electronic identification (eID) for individual sheep and goats through the National Livestock Identification System (NLIS),” Dr Chay said.

“We need a faster and more accurate sheep and goat traceability system to protect Queensland’s livestock industry from an emergency animal disease (EAD) outbreak.

“This rollout is part of a national program. The Department of Agriculture and Fisheries is running information sessions across the state to provide information about this decision and update on the rollout plans for 2025.”

Queensland Chief Veterinary Officer Dr Allison Crook said:

“As chair of the Queensland Traceability Advisory Group (QTAG), it is extremely important that government agencies and key industry groups across the sheep and goat industry are working together to find the best solutions for Queensland,” Dr Crook said.

“The workshops that the department is holding across Queensland in August and September will inform the community about the program and the current plans, so industry can prepare for implementation in 2025.”

For more information visit https://www.business.qld.gov.au/industries/farms-fishing-forestry/agriculture/animal/nlis/sheep-and-goat-identification or phone 13 25 23.


Media contact: DAF Media, media@daf.qld.gov.au