NLIS and 'Walk In - Walk Out' Property Sales
The National Livestock Identification System (NLIS) is Australia's system for identifying and tracking dairy and beef cattle for food safety, disease control and market access. It enables cattle to be identified and tracked from their property of birth to slaughter.
When purchasing a property there are commonly tagged stock on the property of which some or all are to be sold with the property. A situation where the property, stock, equipment and sundries are sold as a unit is commonly referred to as a 'Walk in - Walk out' sale.
What do I need to do when I acquire a new property?
Producers who acquire a property need to apply for a new Property Identification Code (PIC). The old PIC for the property just acquired will be recorded as 'disbanded' and a new PIC, recorded against the name of the new property owner, will be issued.
Download a PIC application form, or call our NLIS Helpline on 1800 678 779 to obtain a form during business hours. Post or fax the forms back to us at the given address.
What is a PIC (Property Identification Code)?
A PIC is an eight character code allocated free of charge by the department to Victorian livestock producing properties. An example of a Victorian PIC is '3ABCD123'.
Producers are required under Victorian law to have a PIC if they have cattle, sheep, goats or pigs, deer, llamas, alpacas, camels, horses (donkeys, mules, zebras), more than 10 emus or ostriches and more than 50 poultry (chickens, turkeys, guinea fowl, ducks, geese, quails, pigeons, pheasants, partridges) on the property.
Do I need to transfer the cattle from a previous owners PIC to my PIC?
If a property is purchased privately or through a Stock & Station Agent without a public auction; that is, on a 'Walk in/Walk out' basis, the new owner should scan the NLIS tags on the cattle present on the property and transfer the cattle from the old PIC to the new PIC on the NLIS Database.
For more information refer to Information Note –'Property to Property Cattle Movements – a producer's guide to NLIS requirements'.
If the sale of the cattle is by public auction, the cattle must all be tagged prior to sale, scanned by the selling agent and the cattle sale information uploaded to the database by that agent.
What do I do if there are unused tags on the property?
If unused NLIS tags remain on the property they should be returned to us by the vendor and the new owner then orders their own. NLIS tags can't legally be sold without our approval. For approval, contact the tag helpline after recording all the tag numbers (either external (NLIS) or internal microchip (RFID) number) and then these tags can be transferred on the NLIS Database to the new PIC before they are used.
What do I do if purchased cattle are untagged?
With the introduction of the NLIS, all cattle – including bobby calves – are required to be NLIS tagged prior to being moved from any property in Victoria. The database must also be notified of the movement within 7 days.
In a Walk in - Walk out situation, stock ownership is changing but the cattle are not usually leaving the property. This means that there may be untagged cattle present on the property that the vendor did not tag. When the new owners tag these cattle they should use orange Post-breeder Tags. This is because they can't be sure that the cattle were born on the property unless there are management tags / freeze brands and herd records that can verify the origin of the cattle.
How do I transfer cattle to my new PIC?
To transfer cattle that are already identified with NLIS tags to a new PIC, the producer requires several pieces of information:
- A new Property Identification Code (PIC) for the acquired property
- The former PIC of the property
- The National Vendor Declaration (NVD) serial number (if an NVD was provided by the former owner)
- The date the sale took place, and
- Either the NLIS ID (external number) or RFID (internal number) of each device to be transferred.
To transfer cattle you need to create a NLIS database account. The creation and use of this account is free of charge.
On creation of your Producer Account, an email will be sent to the nominated account holder, including guidelines on how to transfer stock to and from the producer's PIC.
The NLIS database also provides a Techtip titled – 'Livestock movements (Cattle)' with information on how to transfer cattle from one PIC to another.
Scanning service providers
If a producer does not wish to transfer cattle themselves, they can engage a stock agent, livestock transporter, scanning company or dairy herd improvement centre to scan the NLIS tags on the purchased cattle and register the cattle against the new PIC for the property. These providers operate on a fee for service basis.
NLIS Database Helpdesk: 1800 654 743
Access the NLIS database
NLIS Queries in Victoria
For the NLIS in Victoria call the toll-free NLIS Helpline on 1800 678 779 during business hours.
Ordering NLIS devices online
You can now order NLIS devices online using a credit card.