Sheepmeat Council of Australia and SAFEMEAT are partnering in the search for a chairperson of the new SAFEMEAT Sheep Traceability Working Group, charged with the task of enhancing the National Livestock Identification System for Sheep and Goats.
The Working Group comprises industry and government representatives and will make further enhancements to the current system by increasing auditing, communications and research and development. These core areas formed recommendations which were part of the SheepCatcher II report.
SCA Chief Executive Officer Dr Kat Giles says the chair position is vital in implementing a strong response to the areas for improvement identified.
“Fundamentally we need a traceability system that meets the performance standards,” Dr Giles said.
“SheepCatcher II showed that there has been improvement since the first SheepCatcher exercise and that traceability performance standards can be met by the current system. As an industry, we need to make those improvements now.
“SAFEMEAT will be assessing the effect of the enhancements through an exercise to be completed by July 2020.”
Dr Giles says SCA has led the charge since the report’s release to coordinate a national approach to improving the system by working with SAFEMEAT Partners.
“SCA remains committed to disease control, food safety and ensuring that the products produced are trusted for their safety and their integrity, and are known to have come from farms that care for their sheep and for the environment in which they are raised,” she said.
“Recruiting a proven leader with a strong understanding of NLIS for sheep and goats and drivers of future industry growth will be integral to this process.”