Frequently Asked Questions
I keep sheep/goats on my property as pets – do I need to comply with the new rules?
Yes. The new rules apply to:
- persons owning and/or managing a property on which sheep or goats are bred, agisted, reared or kept
- persons responsible for the husbandry of sheep or goats
- persons owning and/or managing sheep or goats moving off or onto a property at any point of the animal's life for any reason
- persons owning sheep and goats kept as pets.
Do I have to record mob-based movement information for sheep or goats I have purchased privately?
Producers receiving sheep and goats that are identified with a visually readable NLIS (Sheep) tag directly from another producer can, if they wish, register a record of the mob-based movement on the NLIS database. Recording mob-based movements on the NLIS database for 'property to property' movements is currently voluntary.
P2P movement recording for electronically tagged sheep and goats is required as of 31st March 2018.
What arrangements apply to OJD vaccinated sheep?
Producers who choose to vaccinate their flocks against ovine Johne's disease (OJD) are required to identify all vaccinates with an NLIS (Sheep) tag. When sheep are vaccinated against OJD, a capital "V" in a circle must be printed on the ear tag.
Electronic tags with this symbol printed on them can be ordered online from Agriculture Victoria.
What arrangements apply to the identification of store terminal lambs from OJD affected properties?
Store terminal (crossbred) lambs from OJD affected flocks may be sold for finishing on another property. They may be identified with an NLIS (Sheep) Tag with a capital "T" in a circle.
The 'T' in a circle symbol indicates the sheep are terminal lambs that will be slaughtered prior to cutting their first two permanent teeth. 'T' tags are not mandatory for the movement of terminal lambs within Victoria but may be required to move them interstate. If you wish to have the option of selling terminal lambs into another state (for fattening on another property prior to slaughter), we recommend placing the 'T' symbol on their tags. This symbol does not mean the sheep necessarily come from an infected flock.
When do Victorian producers need to report Property to Property movements?
A property to property (P2P) movement occurs when sheep or goats are dispatched from a farm and are taken directly to another farm.
As of 31 March 2018 producers have been required to register P2P movements on the NLIS database.
The person receiving sheep or goats born after 1 January 2017 directly from another property must notify the NLIS database of their arrival within 48 hours, or before they next move, whichever is the sooner. The following information must be supplied:
- electronically recorded transponder number associated with the tag identifying each animal
- date of movement
- number of animals received
- PIC of the property where the sheep or goats were last kept
- PIC of the property to which the sheep or goats were consigned, and
- NVD serial number.
Any sheep or goat producer who receives animals directly from another property can notify the database by:
- scanning the electronic tags using a tag reader, then opening a database account and reporting the arrival of the sheep or goats, or
- engaging a stock agent, saleyard operator, scanning contractor or livestock transporter on a fee for service basis, to scan the sheep or goats and notify the NLIS database.
There are no fees associated with registering movements on the NLIS database. Readers that are able to read NLIS (Cattle) tags will also read electronic NLIS (Sheep) tags.
For further information on using the NLIS database, visit the NLIS website or contact the NLIS Database Helpline on 1800 654 743 during business hours.
I transport sheep and goats. What does this mean for me?
Transporters must ensure the sheep and goats that they transport are identified with an NLIS (Sheep) tag. For animals born after 1 January 2017, the tag used must be an electronic NLIS (Sheep) tag.
There is no obligation on transporters to scan tags on the animals that they handle.
Transporters will be consulted as the new system is introduced. Many transporters have readers because they are already servicing cattle producers.
I am a stock agent, what does this mean for me?
Stock agents must provide store buyers of sheep and goats with a legible copy of the vendor's NVD or a post-sale summary within 2 working days. For sheep and goats purchased by a processor, this information must be provided by midnight on sale day.
I have a saleyard, what does this mean for me?
Saleyard operators must record mob-based movement details for all sheep and goats traded through their saleyard. Mob-based movement recording is the capture of core movement information on the NLIS database.
What will be required for processors/abattoirs?
Victoria has approximately 28 abattoirs that process sheep or goats. Most already have tag readers that were either installed to support carcass tracking systems or because they process bobby calves, which are required to be identified with an electronic NLIS (Cattle) tag. Many sheep processors have already identified market access opportunities arising from a mandatory electronic system that ensures effective traceability.
Abattoirs must record mob-based movement details for all sheep and goats that they process. Mob-based movement recording is the capture of core movement information on the NLIS database.
What if I have other questions?
If you have further questions, more information is available by calling 1800 678 779 during business hours or by emailing email@example.com.