The National Livestock Identification System is in for an overhaul after a $22.5 million Federal Government boost hoped to modernise the way data is captured and stored across the livestock supply chain. The Federal Government this month awarded the cash boost to Integrity Systems Company — a wholly owned subsidiary of Meat and Livestock Australia — to bolster the NILS database and its supporting systems. The NILS is Australia’s system for the identification and traceability of cattle, sheep and goats and requires all livestock to be identified by a visual or electronic eartag or device and all physical locations to be identified through a property identification code. As animals are bought, sold and moved along the supply chain, each movement is recorded centrally on the NLIS database. Federal Agriculture Minister Murray Watt said the database upgrade would deliver significant system-wide traceability benefits for all animal species captured by the NLIS and allow for future additions to the system. ““This uplift will also make the NLIS easier to use for farmers and producers,” he said. “It will streamline reporting processes, linking to the electronic national vendor declaration system (eNVD), and farmers will be able to see the information they have entered into the system and where their stock have moved.” The cash will will also be used to help create a new platform that can accommodate additional data inputs from other systems, to help boost Australia’s agricultural credentials and compliance with international market access requirements. Mr Watt said the grant formed part of the Federal Government’s $46.7 million commitment to work with industry and 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,” he Watt said. “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. “There are also trade benefits with increasing demand for proof of origin and sustainability for Australian livestock and meat products, so this will help to maintain and develop market access overseas.” The funding boost comes as the Federal Government pushes to make electronic identification tags mandatory for all sheep and goats from 2025, with eID tags believed to be key against protecting the livestock industry from disease spread. Australia’s biosecurity came under the microscope again last year after the outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease in Bali and concerns about the risk of lumpy skin disease to the nation’s northern cattle industries. The WA Government has introduced a 75c discount on the price of electronic ear tags for sheep and goats for 2023-drop lambs and kids under a similar model that was used for cattle during the rollout of EID in WA in 2005.