A Swinging Success Story in Wagin

A Swinging Success Story in Wagin - Home of the Ram & The number 1 Ear Tag producer in Australia!


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Diana Blacklock, Woolorama Media
Ph: 0421 631 632, E: media@woolorama.com.au



A Swinging Success story in Wagin – Home of the Ram & The No 1 Ear Tag producer in Australia!

Owner operator Charlie Piesse hales from a well-known pioneering family in the district, and with a quiet determination has built up a highly successful business distributing ear tags nationwide.

It all started when a pretty young barmaid suggested to Charlie to have a look at her father’s one stamping machine in the garden shed in Mundaring, to now being proudly Australia’s No 1 Ear Tagging manufacturer located in Wagin. He brought the small Ear Tag business to Wagin in 1985! producing around 180,000 tags locally, to presently distributing over 4 million tags nationally. 

Ear tags were introduced to the sheep industry in the early 1950’s Prior to tags, age was determined by teeth as well as a notch taken from the ear each year, and coloured dried raddle (chalk – like) applied to the wool to show gender, these methods were widely used to identify and draft sheep.  One of the original Wagin farming & engineering families in the district, the Pederick’s started making their own tags from Aluminium, using a jam fence post and hammer to bang them into the ears of their large Corriedale flock.  However, this clever time saving. local scale. invention was not so popular with the shearers, as combs were regularly destroyed, and the metal content varied greatly making it difficult for farmers to use, so when the plastic tags eventually come into circulation in the 1970’s, they remain unchanged to this day

Branding of sheep for traceability was formalised and eventually legislated in WA in 1923 with fleece branding or coloured fluid was applied to the surface of the wool, however this would wear off overtime, so to increase the life of the brand it become more common to stamp it into ear tags to negate this wearing off effect.  Today branding is a combination of shapes removed from the ear and a unique letter and number combination (3 digits) stamped onto the ear tags

WA is the only state that has this registered 3-digit brand system to identify sheep, with the eastern states continuing to use local level systems; therefore, making WA the most effective and indelible method of marking and branding sheep both for domestic and export markets.  There is ongoing pressure from the industry presently to have all states conform to an electronic tagging system.  Charlie believes the paraphernalia needed to scan the chip / tag will create more problems in the yards for the farmer than solve. The ear tags with its 3-digit registration system & branding works extremely well and is much cheaper and easier to work with so ‘Why change something that isn’t broken’

Charlie prides himself on the quality, reliability & clean application of his Swinger tags, lasting the lifespan of a sheep.  He believes what sets his tags apart from his competitors and makes him No.1 in the market is the time and research that has gone into his product, making them more simplistic, easy to see, durable, and humane. The combination of excellent design (German designed and manufactured machinery) the quality virgin plastic (Polypropylene) being less toxic & extremely UV stable, the care and time taken to align the print and the deep indented stamps that remain visible for the life of the tag and ultimately the sheep! Careful consideration & clever design has made his Swinger tags well known and respected in the industry.  The tags are now sought after throughout Australia with many of the most successful and prestigious studs purchasing the tags with the largest stud in Tasmania ordering as many as 60,000 in one year!! This large order took the team at Swinger Tags 7 full days of production to meet the deadline.  Charlie doesn’t advertise his product widely however his sales continue to grow due to the first-class reputation he and his team have built over the past 32 years for Swinger Tags.

The tags come in 20+ assorted colours determined by the year as per the NLIS branding protocol, however the deep indented stamp ink (foil) can come in any colour including some bling for your much-loved sheep with the recent introduction of gold print on the tags (earring for sheep??) The wording can also be customised to add your name, phone number and or property name, so an easier and fun way to brand your valuable family / farming asset!

Wagin a small wheatbelt town 2 hours out from Perth produces this widely distributed Australian Made product and provides a quality service without all the fuss – a wonderful quiet achievement over 32 years – well done Swinger Tags you’ve helped put Wagin on the map!!




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