NLIS sheep and goats

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Sheep and goat identification and traceability

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Sheep and managed goats must be identified with an NLIS visual or RFID ear tag before they leave the property on which they were born (exemptions may apply for dairy, show, feral or unmanaged goats in some states). If animals are identified with a visual tag, their movements can only be tracked on a mob-basis. If animals are identified with an RFID tag, and the tag numbers are supplied to the NLIS database when a movement is recorded, their movements can be traced on an individual basis.  

Mob-based movement recording

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To enhance the NLIS system, recording the movement of mobs of sheep or goats between properties on the NLIS database commenced from July 2010.

Producers can download information sheets for some states below:

Individual animal movement recording

Since July 2011, the NLIS database has enabled movement details for individual animals identified with RFID tags to be recorded on a voluntary basis.

For more information, contact your local state department of primary industries or agriculture

NLIS requirements

Producers should know where the sheep or goats under their management have come from and where they are going when they leave their property. This means:

  • Approved NLIS (Sheep) ear tags for sheep and goats leaving their property to show where they have come from.
  • Accurate transportation documentation, generally the Livestock Production Assurance National Vendor Declaration and Waybill (LPA NVD/Waybill), to show where they are going.
  • Recording a mob-based or individual movement on the NLIS database.

Sheep  1 goat supply chain diagram

NLIS and meat safety

For mob-based movements, as the animals move along the supply chain, their movement details are recorded on the database. The species and number of animals in each mob is recorded, together with the PICs that the animals moved onto and their dates of movement.

A record of each PIC that a mob resides on is stored on the NLIS database to establish a history of a mob's residency. Using this information, the NLIS database is then able to determine which other mobs a mob or sheep or goats has come into contact with. This enables the mob to be traced quickly for the purposes of biosecurity, food safety, product integrity and market access.

For animals identified with RFID tags, statuses can be assigned to individual devices to record pertinent information against a device on the NLIS database. For example, a device status that is assigned may indicate that a device is damaged, lost, or various other pieces of information that relate to a single animal or a device. This helps to maintain the safety, quality and integrity standards of Australian livestock and can reduce the impact of a potential livestock disease epidemic or residue incident.