NLIS reporting requirements

By Dubbo District Vet, Dr Sarah Maher

Australia is incredibly lucky to have one of the world’s leading livestock traceability systems. The National Livestock Identification System (NLIS) provides lifetime traceability of livestock through the collaboration of three key areas:

  • Individual animal/ mob based identification – e.g. individual RFID tag, or visual tag or brand
  • Identification of the physical location of the animal using a property identification code (PIC)
  • NLIS Database – where information is stored and correlated

The NLIS ensures market access, product integrity, traceability, food safety, biosecurity and much more. In the face of a disease outbreak government and industry can use the NLIS to trace and rapidly detect ‘at risk’ stock. This helps to minimise the cost of an outbreak and allows trade to resume more quickly. It can also be used to ensure animals with chemical residues do not enter the food chain, helping to guarantee that the food we eat is safe for human consumption.

Whenever a livestock movement between properties of different PICs occurs, it must be recorded on the NLIS database. It is the responsibility of the receiver of the stock to ensure the movement has been uploaded within 2 days of stock arrival. For example, if you purchased sheep through AuctionsPlus it is YOUR responsibility as the receiver to ensure the movement has occurred on the database.

For animals purchased or sold through a saleyard, the saleyard will upload the movement. Abattoirs must also record movements for all direct consignments of livestock.

It is good practice to check that database movements have occurred. Your agent may perform the database transfer for you as a service however it is important to note that it is not their responsibility. As such you will incur the penalty if this is not performed. Producers are encouraged to have a clear agreement with your agent about who will perform the database transfer and in what time frame.

Below are links for cattle and sheep producers on NLIS requirements and how to perform database transfers:



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