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Online livestock trading – Do you know the rules and risks?

Central West Local Land Services staff are reporting higher incidences of buying and selling of livestock through online group buy, swap, sell style pages. Biosecurity Officer, Alicia Whiley said when used correctly these platforms can be a great way to buy and sell.

“The biggest issue that we are facing with unregulated online trading is that buyers and sellers may not be aware of the rules and risks which can leave them exposed to fines for noncompliance as well as increasing the risk of animal disease spread,” Miss Whiley said.

A prime example of this is pigs.

Pig owners need to make sure that proper biosecurity measures are in place to protect market access for the industry which includes knowing and abiding by the legal requirements when buying, producing and selling pigs.

Before selling pigs through any platform, including social media sites or sale websites, a legible swine brand and Property Identification Code (PIC) must be obtained from Local Land Services.

“Getting a PIC for your holding is straight forward and costs less than $30. Our customer service staff are happy to help with the process,” Miss Whiley said

It is an offence under the Stock Diseases Act to buy or sell stock through any website, newspaper, magazine or saleyards without a registered PIC and the appropriate paperwork.

Another aspect that new stock traders may not be aware of is that it is an offence to transport any livestock, including pigs, without a Transport Stock Statement or legible PigPass and identification.

A major risk with pig is that they are carriers of zoonotic and exotic diseases such as brucellosis and foot and mouth. If there is no registered swine brand, we are unable to trace these animals which makes it very difficult to contain a disease.

“To try to mitigate the risks, we are constantly monitoring local Buy Swap and Sell Facebook pages and other selling websites, and following up with owners that are selling on these avenues, just like we would check those selling through saleyards.” Miss Whiley said

If you would like to know more about the requirements for keeping, selling and buying stock, how to complete a PigPass, Travelling Stock Statement or apply for a PIC, please contact your nearest Local Land Services office.

ENDS

Media contact: Fiona Townsend 0428 284 252 or fiona.townsend@lls.nsw.gov.au