It is important that livestock can be identified and tracked from their property of birth to slaughter. Traceability, the ablity to follow an animal from one point in the supply chain to another, enables monitoring for disease, chemical residues and assists to protect domestic and international markets.
Traceability protects human health, maintains public confidence and supports the increasing demand of consumers for healthy and safe foods. The NLIS and its individual elements: NLIS (Cattle), NLIS (Sheep & Goats) and NLIS (Pigs) form Australia's system for identifying and tracking livestock.
The NLIS combines three elements to enable lifetime traceability of livestock:
1. Identification of a physical location
A Property Identification Code (PIC) defines a property where livestock are kept and who has responsibility for the livestock.
Under Victorian law, individuals must have a PIC for properties on which they graze or keep the following livestock: cattle, sheep, goats, pigs, camel, alpaca, llamas, deer, horses or more than 50 poultry (i.e. domesticated fowl, chickens, ducks, geese, turkey, guinea fowl, pigeons, quail or pheasants) or 10 emus or ostriches.
Apply for or amend a PIC or call the Agriculture Victoria NLIS Helpline on 1800 678 779 between 9.00am and 4.30pm Monday to Friday.
2. An animal identifier
As cattle, sheep, goats and pigs are bought and sold along the supply chain, they must remain tagged with an NLIS-accredited tag or device.
Livestock producers can order NLIS tags from Agriculture Victoria via a paper, phone or online order. Use the link above to order online, print the paper application form or call the Agriculture Victoria NLIS Helpline to place your order over the telephone on 1800 678 779 between 9.00am and 4.30pm Monday to Friday.
Paper tag application forms
- NLIS (Cattle) Breeder/Post-breeder tags (PDF - 162.0 KB)
- NLIS (Cattle) Breeder/Post Breeder tags (WORD - 221.1 KB)
- NLIS (Sheep & Goats) Breeder/Post-breeder tags (PDF - 655.4 KB)
- NLIS (Sheep & Goats) Breeder/Post-breeder tags (WORD - 550.1 KB)
- Application for the allocation of a pig tattoo brand (PDF - 70.2 KB)
- Application for the allocation of a pig tattoo brand (WORD - 63.9 KB)
- Application for pig identification ear tags (WORD - 81.5 KB)
- Application for pig identification ear tags (PDF - 128.2 KB)
3. A web-accessible database
The NLIS database is industry managed and stores a huge amount of information relating to cattle, sheep, goat and pig movements. All supply chain participants benefit from data available from the database.