THE State Government has come under fire over its modest contribution to the National Livestock Identification Scheme for cattle, which is due to be phased in from January next year and fully implemented by July 2005.
Australian Beef Association WA representative Peter Vincent said that in light of a compulsory system where producers were burdened with more costs, the WA Government contribution of $200,000 was just not enough.
He said half the $200,000 was from the Cattle Industry Compensation Fund of which half came from producer contributions.
He said the Government funding also included work in kind by the Agriculture Department, which would be equivalent to about $60,000.
"As far as I can see the State Government is contributing $40,000 and diverting two bureaucrats to demonstrate the tags for cattle," he said.
Agriculture Minister Kim Chance did not respond to Farm Weekly calls for a response.
Mr Vincent said the Victorian Government had already put about $4.5m into its mandatory NLIS scheme and the WA Government should at least match that amount.
"The WA Government contribution to this state's program has been absolutely appalling," he said.
Victorian producers paid $2.50 for eartags, which were subsidised by their Government, while in NSW ear tags cost $3.50.
WA producers are expected to pay between $3.60-$4 each.
Mr Vincent did not believe the US would accept Japan's demand for traceability and pointed to the ill fated US Country of Origin labelling proposal.