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National PIC registration

Project start date: 15 January 2015
Project end date: 09 March 2016
Publication date: 09 March 2016
Project status: Completed
Livestock species: Sheep, Goat, Lamb, Grassfed cattle, Grainfed cattle


​The SAFEMEAT Initiatives Review recommended a National Property Identification Code (PIC) Register be established. PICs are fundamental to a range of traceability and industry integrity programs including NLIS, LPA and NVDs. PICs enable traceability to specific properties, which is critical in the event of a disease outbreak or residue incident. Currently, each State and Territory maintains their own discrete PIC register to identify properties where livestock are kept. Each State and Territory is responsible for managing their own PIC registration system, with some variation in operational rules for PIC allocation.

Animal Health Australia, in collaboration with the MLA Donor Company, engaged a consultant to develop a business case to identify options available for a national PIC registration system. AHA has managed consultation for this project. The Steering Group is acting as a reference group for the project.Consultants GHD, supported by IT system specialists Artis Group, investigated the current State and Territory-based systems and developed a range of options for a National PIC Register, including:Option 1: National PIC registration system using current State-based systemsOption 2: Centralised web interfaceOption 3: Full implementation of a national system

A cost-benefit analysis of these options revealed that significant cost savings may only be achieved over time if extended service levels were introduced, and other industries became involved (eg horticulture, viticulture, grains). However, no cost benefits were identified for livestock industries driving towards a national system at the current service levels and without the involvement of other industries.

The potential value from a National PIC registration system would only be fully realised when traceability systems applicable to other industries are developed. There are also considerable legislative barriers to creating a national system.

At this time, there is not a strong business case for a National PIC registration system for livestock industries alone. There is however opportunity to work towards the full harmonisation of PIC business rules across States and Territories.