Property identification codes and horses

Property Identification Codes (PICs) are our frontline strategy against animal diseases.

Requirements for horse owners

From 1 September 2012, anyone who keeps horses in NSW must get a PIC for the land on which the horses are kept. Even if you only have one horse, you will still need a PIC.

During the Equine Influenza (horse flu) outbreak in 2007, NSW Department of Primary Industries’ and the former Livestock Health and Pest Authorities’ efforts to control the disease were hampered by not knowing where and how many horses were located in different areas. The need for a register of the location of all horses and other livestock in Australia was apparent.

Knowing where horses (and other species) are located through PIC information will improve traceability and response times in the event of future  disease outbreaks or other emergencies.

NSW, as well as Victoria and Queensland require a PIC to be quoted before any health certificates are provided for the export of horses. In Queensland it is also mandatory to provide a PIC in order to enter a horse in an event and event organisers in NSW and other states are increasingly imposing the  same requirement.

It is not mandatory to identify horses by microchip, although some industry groups may require it. PICs are assigned to individual properties and allocated by Local Land Services who maintain the register of more than 105,000 PICs and keep information related to PICs current.

Many rural horse owners will also own cattle, sheep, goats or pigs, as well as horses, so will already have a PIC, and may not need to apply for one.

However other horse owners will need to apply for a PIC from their Local Land Services office.

Read more about horse management and your responsibilities.