The aging computer system that tracks every cow and most sheep and goats from the paddock to the abattoir is finally getting an upgrade.
Integrity Systems Company (ISC), a wholly owned subsidiary of Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA), has been awarded a $22.5 million Australian Government grant to build a new national livestock traceability platform to replace the 23-year-old National Livestock Identification System (NLIS) database.
Developing a strengthened and enhanced national livestock traceability database is a key pillar in Australia’s defences against potential outbreaks of exotic diseases including foot and mouth disease and lumpy skin disease.
ISC Acting CEO Jo Quigley said the grant is a significant opportunity for ISC and the red meat industry.
“This Australian Government grant to build a new national livestock traceability database is an extraordinary opportunity for ISC and will transform our integrity programs over the next two to three years so they are ready for the future,” Ms Quigley said.
“The grant will ensure Australia has a fit-for-purpose data capture, storage and distribution system which will offer flexibility and scalability to track all future livestock movements. The new platform will provide a more user-friendly interface and will be able to adapt to changing needs over the next 20 years.
“We look forward to getting started on building the new database which will strengthen livestock biosecurity, food safety and market access.”
The first stage of the project is underway to scope the strategic requirements of the new database. This will ensure the new NLIS will meet today’s needs for livestock biosecurity, food safety and market access, while also supporting future market requirements.
A highly collaborative approach will be taken with the development of the new platform. This will include engagement with industry as well as state and federal governments at all stages.
The new database will align functionality with the eNVD system for livestock consignments to streamline the current process for producers. It will also be able to handle the significant amounts of data that will flow through with the national implementation of sheep and goat electronic identification (eID).
Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Murray Watt said the NLIS Uplift Grant was part of the Government’s $46.7 million commitment to work with industry and state and territory governments to improve national livestock traceability arrangements over the next three years.
“Traceability plays a key role in protecting and growing Australian agriculture, and we need the right tools in place to see it thrive,” Minister Watt said.
“The NLIS is key to maintaining world-class livestock traceability, because the faster and more accurately animals are traced, the quicker we can respond and recover from any emergency animal disease outbreak.”
Meat & Livestock Australia chairman Alan Beckett added, “We strongly welcome this collaborative partnership between the Australian Government and ISC that will ensure our national livestock traceability system continues to deliver outcomes for the red meat and livestock sector.
“Our livestock traceability system, and the database that supports it, is incredibly valuable for our industry, providing value across a whole range of aspects including market access, biosecurity and food safety.
“The system is highly regarded around the world and this grant provides a tremendous opportunity to strengthen and modernize the traceability database and ensure that it continues to deliver immense value for the industry.”
For more information on the NLIS visit: National Livestock Identification System | Integrity Systems
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