Three weeks after the National Livestock Identification System was implemented in New South Wales, one of its key saleyards is having serious problems.
Up to 40 per cent of electronic ear tags in cattle at Wagga Wagga are not reading correctly first time.
The saleyard says it is becoming a major occupational health and safety issue, because cattle are having to be turned back up to three times to get an accurate reading.
Ryan Schiller, from the Wagga Selling Agents Association, says it is adding danger and time to the job of selling cattle
"We've had reports of anywhere from 5 to 35 to 40 per cent not reading and some of our agents are reporting it's doubling their handling time," he said.
"They've gone from processing 100 cattle an hour back to 50 cattle an hour, which is not too bad when we're only yarding 12 to 15 hundred but when we get back to our sort of 2 and a half to 5,000 sort of thing it's going to severely limit our abilities to get the job done properly."
Meat and Livestock Australia says 40 per cent is unacceptable, but believes the problem can be rectified.
Editorial Comment by BoerGoats.com
Does that means that if the US gets 61% correct we'll be the new "King of the World" of animal ID?
Do you think the producers and processors in the US would put up with a 50% reduction in through-put just 'cause the guv'mnt told them to?
Oh, I forgot... we put up with our animal ID program all the time, don't we? And it was a guv'mnt rule, wasn't it? For our own good. Or was it the hare-brained concoction of a few self-serving radical "industry leaders" that rammed it down the throats of the gov'mnt and the producers before any real research was undertaken as to just how the hell the program was going to be implemented, administered and enforced.
Not a problem... we'll just model our program after the one in Australia. The one that doesn't work.
All sorts of other implications...
I know some members of registries that would be a little upset if their grand champion was gated because his ID didn't read correctly. Oh, I forgot... the judge has to check them three times to insure the correct reading.