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About the National Livestock Identification Scheme

Australia's National Livestock Identification System (NLIS) identifies animals so that they can be traced quickly if needed. NLIS applies to anyone with cattle, sheep, goats or pigs. Even if you are a hobby farmer or small landholder the law requires you to comply.

The National Livestock System has several benefits to livestock industries such as maintaining market access, detecting livestock theft, controlling disease outbreaks and ensuring traceability.

To help you comply with NLIS requirements we have compiled a list of some simple steps to follow to stay on the right side of the law when buying/ selling cattle, pigs, goats or sheep:

  • you must have a property Identification Code (PIC). (You can apply at your Local Land Services office)
  • the animal must be tagged with an appropriate NLIS ear tag (or brand for pigs) before leaving its property of origin
  • a vendor declaration must be supplied to the buyer or carrier or obtained from the seller
  • we suggest anyone buying/ selling or agisting livestock supply a more detailed Animal Health Statement.

Our Biosecurity staff regularly attends local sales to check for compliance with NLIS requirements

Failure to comply is an offence under the Stock Diseases Regulation 2009, so it is essential that you check every animal to make sure it has an NLIS tag before it leaves your property.

More information on NLIS is available from the Meat and Livestock Australia website or more information can be found on the DPI website with the NLIS Primefacts or you can contact your nearest Local Land Services.