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FMD in Australia: Electronic ear tags to become mandatory for all Australian sheep

Electronic ear tags are set to become mandatory across Australia’s 70.6 million-head sheep flock, with growing concern about biosecurity threats — including foot-and-mouth disease — highlighting the importance of traceability.

WA Agriculture Minister Alannah MacTiernan on Thursday confirmed all State Governments had reached an agreement with the Federal Government to enforce the mandate.

Speaking at the WAFarmers Dairy Conference in Busselton, Ms MacTiernan said the “clear decision” was made during a July 20 meeting between all State agriculture ministers and Federal Agriculture Minister Murray Watt.

“(There is) an agreement across the board that we must move to electronic tagging of sheep,” she said.

“It’s been kicking around for five years (and) the argument has always been, I thought, quite strongly in favour of it.”

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