Property Identification Codes and National Vendor Declarations
Property Identification Codes
A Property Identification Code (PIC) is the eight character alphanumeric code allocated by Agriculture Victoria, or the equivalent authority in other states/territories, to a livestock producing property. In Victoria, PICs commence with the prefix '3' and are in the format '3ABCD123'. NSW and South Australian PICs commence with the prefix 'N' and 'S' respectively.
For the purposes of allocating PICs, a property is defined as a parcel of land, consisting of one or more blocks within the one locality, operating as part of a livestock enterprise. As long as land on which livestock are agisted or leased is in the same locality, i.e. in the same shire or close by in a neighbouring shire, such land can be covered by the 'home' PIC.
- By law, all properties running sheep or goats, including properties where sheep and goats are kept as pets, must have a PIC.
- NLIS (Sheep) tags, whether visually readable or electronic, must have the PIC of the property on which they are used printed on them.
- Legislation introduced in August 2009 requires all buyers of sheep and goats, whether purchased at a saleyard or through a private sale, to provide the PIC of the destination property, including sheep and goats destined for slaughter at an abattoir.
If you need more information please call Agriculture Victoria's NLIS Helpline on 1800 678 779 during business hours.
National Vendor Declarations (NVDs)
Consignors must provide an NVD when dispatching sheep or goats of any age to a saleyard or abattoir, selling or giving them away, or moving them to another property (with a different PIC).
Consignors of sheep and goats that are already tagged with an NLIS (Sheep) tag must either record all PICs printed on the NLIS (Sheep) tags attached to the consigned stock on their NVD, or attach a visually readable pink NLIS (Sheep) Post-breeder tag to each animal and record the PIC on these tags on their NVD.
Several NVD editions are currently being used by producers trading sheep and goats, including the Livestock Production Assurance (LPA) NVD/Waybill. All are acceptable from the perspective of Victorian NLIS (Sheep and Goats) legislation, however many buyers are only interested in purchasing sheep and goats accompanied by a current LPA NVD/Waybill.
LPA is the livestock industry's voluntary on-farm quality assurance program. Producers seeking LPA accreditation must agree to abide by basic animal production and record keeping requirements focusing on food safety issues. LPA conducts independent audits of accredited producers to ensure that the program's integrity is maintained.
Sheep and goat producers who have a valid PIC can obtain Livestock Production Assurance (LPA) NVDs by phoning the LPA helpline on 1800 683 111 during office hours or by visiting Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA) Livestock Production Assurance (food safety and quality assurance).
Any false or misleading answers on a completed NVD may lead to prosecution and/or attract civil action by the purchaser.
Frequently Asked Questions
What do I do if my lambs are born on an agistment or lease property that has a different PIC to my home property?
Only NLIS (Sheep) tags with the PIC of the agistment property can be used for those lambs born on that property. Agriculture Victoria allows a property to have two PICs if more than one producer is managing livestock on the property. If the agistment property is registered with Agriculture Victoria under the PIC of the home property, then the person agisting the livestock can use their own NLIS (Sheep) tags, otherwise they need to use the NLIS (Sheep) tags printed with the PIC of the agistment property.
Do I have to record all NLIS (Sheep) tag PICs on my NVD if I am selling sheep or goats 'over the hooks'?
For 'over the hooks' sales, the PICs printed on all NLIS (Sheep) tags on sheep or goats in the consignment must be included on the NVD, as well as the PIC of the property from which the livestock are consigned. Alternatively an NLIS (Sheep) Post-Breeder tag, printed with the PIC of the consigning property, can be attached to each animal. This PIC will be the PIC of dispatch recorded on the accompanying NVD.
Please note that an animal can only be identified with one electronic NLIS (Sheep) tag.
If an introduced sheep or domesticated goat has more than one NLIS (Sheep) tag, which one do I record on my NVD?
You have the choice of recording all of the PICs printed on the NLIS (Sheep) tags attached to your sheep or goats on your NVD, or alternatively you can attach a pink NLIS (Sheep) Post-breeder tag on which is printed the PIC of the property from which the sheep or goats are to be dispatched.
If the introduced sheep are identified with electronic NLIS (Sheep) tags, the Post-breeder tags used must be visually readable, not electronic.
Once scanning of electronic tags on sheep in Victorian saleyards and abattoirs becomes routine, the need for vendors to record tag PICs on NVDs will be reviewed.
For a consignment that contains animals from a variety of sources, do I need to record on my NVD the number of animals identified with NLIS (Sheep) tags printed with a particular PIC?
No. Only the PICs need to be recorded on your NVD, not the number of sheep or goats carrying tags printed with a particular PIC.
Am I required to obtain an NVD form from the seller or agent when I buy sheep and goats?
Yes. For traceability it is crucial to obtain the information provided on movement documentation such as an NVD or waybill. Stock agents are required to provide a copy of the consignor's NVD, or a post-sale summary within two days of the purchase of store and breeding stock. The information that must be recorded on the document includes the PIC of the property from which the animals were dispatched, the date of the movement, the number and type of animals and the PICs printed on all of the NLIS (Sheep) tags attached to animals in the consignment.
NVDs for purchased sheep should be retained for seven years.
What happens if sheep or goats arrive at a saleyard without an NVD or with an incomplete NVD?
The person responsible for dispatching sheep or domesticated goats to a Victorian saleyard without a correctly completed NVD has committed an offence under the Livestock Disease Control Act 1994 and may be fined.
The selling agent should advise potential buyers that an NVD has not been provided, has not been completed in full or contains incorrect information.