Livestock Property Identification Codes (PICs)
The National Livestock Identification System (NLIS) is Australia's system for the permanent identification and tracing of livestock for market access, food safety and disease control purposes.
What is a PIC?
A property identification code or PIC is an eight character code allocated by this department, or the equivalent authority in other states/territories, to identify a livestock producing property.
Victorian PICs begin with the numeral 3, followed by 4 letters and 3 more numerals, eg, 3ABCD123. The first 2 letters identify the municipality of the property.
Who should have a PIC?
If you have livestock you are required by law to have a PIC for the properties on which you graze livestock. Livestock are cattle, sheep, goats, pigs, camelids (as in alpacas or llamas) deer, horses or more than 100 poultry or 10 emus or ostriches. The term poultry in this instance refers to domesticated fowl, chickens, ducks, geese, turkey, guinea fowl, pigeons, quail or pheasants. All livestock businesses (saleyards, cattle scales, abattoirs, knackeries and stock agents) must also have a PIC. Horse owners running horses on their own property and owners of properties where horses are agisted are also required to have a PIC.
Some plant properties are also now required to have a PIC.
Property Identification Codes – Why?
The purpose of property identification is partly for tracing and controlling disease and residue problems that may be detected after leaving the farm, but also for locating properties and owners that have livestock when an outbreak of a disease that may threaten their enterprise is detected in an area. Traceability systems provide confidence to consumers in domestic and overseas markets that the products they buy are of good quality.
How can I apply for a PIC
There is no cost to apply for or update a PIC.
To apply for a PIC you have three options:
- Apply online.
- Download one of the application forms shown below.
- Contact the PIC Helpline on 1800 678 779 to have a form mailed or faxed to you.
You can apply for a PIC online via our Online PIC service.
You can also use the online service to update your existing PIC details if they have changed.
You will need to supply on your application your name, address and other contact details, and also the council property number or rates assessment number of the property at which the livestock are to be kept (found on the rates assessment notice from the local council).
You must indicate on the form the livestock type and number of livestock which will be residing on the property.
Applicants will subsequently receive a credit-card style card which details their PIC through the mail, sent out each month.
What does an application cost?
There is no cost to apply for or receive a PIC.
What about agistment and lease properties?
PICs are allocated to a parcel of land that may consist of more than one block within the one locality, operating as part of one livestock enterprise. As long as the land on which the livestock are agisted and leased is in the same locality, ie in the same shire or in a neighbouring shire, then both blocks of land can be covered by the 'home' PIC.
For example Tom Jones owns 2 blocks of land separated by 10km. Both blocks are grazed by Tom's livestock and exist within the one shire. One 'home' PIC covers both blocks of land as Tom listed the 2 blocks on the PIC application.
Contact the NLIS hotline and follow 'how to apply for a PIC' to cover agistment or leased land within the same locality to the 'home' PIC.
Contacts and more information
Specific NLIS database queries for the MLA
NLIS Hotline: 1800 NLIS ID (1800 654 743)
Access the NLIS database from their website.
NLIS queries in Victoria
For the NLIS in Victoria call the department's toll-free NLIS Helpline on 1800 678 779 during business hours.
Ordering NLIS tags online
You can now order NLIS tags online using a credit card.