As a business involved in the congregation, transportation and mixing of livestock, ensuring robust traceability practices and ensuring legislative requirements are met is very important.
Starting up a scale operation
There are three requirements of businesses wanting to start a scale operation.
All scale operators require a:
A Scales Property Identification Code (PIC) – defines a property where livestock are kept, the PIC will start with ‘3SC’ indicating you run a scales business in Victoria.
You can apply for a PIC by contacting the Agriculture Victoria NLIS Helpline which operates between 9am – 4.30pm, Monday to Friday on 1800 678 779.
An EUSY code – this code will be provided when you receive your scales PIC from Agriculture Victoria. PIC and EUSY code will be linked.
A National Livestock Identification System (NLIS) 'Saleyard' account – scales are referred to as saleyards on the NLIS database.
Scale operator requirements
To reach an acceptable level of traceability, participants along the supply chain must comply with legislation associated with livestock traceability and traceability systems.
As a scale operator, it is your responsibility to:
- Ensure animals are correctly tagged
- Transfer livestock from and to correct Property Identification Codes (PICs)
- Complete National Livestock Identification System (NLIS) database transfers accurately and on time
- Ensure all animals are traded with accurate National Vendor Declarations.
Ensure animals are correctly tagged
When trading animals through a scale it is your responsibility as a scales operator to ensure that animals are correctly tagged. All cattle and calves must be identified with an NLIS tag.
A scale operator must tag livestock with an NLIS orange post-breeder tag (allocated to the scale) when:
- it arrives at the scale untagged
- it has a non-reading NLIS tag.
A scale operator must not apply a producer’s NLIS tag to an animal that is at a scale. If animals are missing tags or are incorrectly tagged when sold it is an offence against the scale operator.
Post breeder tags can be ordered online at tags.agriculture.vic.gov.au or by calling the Agriculture Victoria NLIS Helpline on 1800 678 779.
Transfer livestock from and to correct Property Identification Codes (PICs)
It is a requirement of scale operators to transfer livestock from, and to, a correct and valid PIC.
The PIC on the National Vendor Declaration (NVD) must be used as the ‘from’ PIC in the NLIS transfer.
For any queries concerning PICs you can call the Agriculture Victoria NLIS Helpline on 1800 678 779.
You can apply for, edit or cancel a PIC at pic.agriculture.vic.gov.au.
Complete National Livestock Identification System (NLIS) database transfers accurately and on time
All livestock traded through a scale are required to be scanned and transferred on the NLIS database.
Scale operators who pick up calves and cattle on farm MUST scan the animals on farm.
Scale operators at fixed locations where producers drop off their own calves and cattle MUST scan the animals before they leave the scale (calves under six weeks of age must be scanned on arrival to the scale).
As a scale operator, it is your responsibility to complete an NLIS transfer for the livestock movement from the vendors PIC to the scale EUSY code (into scale transfer or take possession) and then from the scale EUSY code to the buyers PIC (out of scale or sell file) on the NLIS database.
The INTO scale transfer for slaughter livestock must be uploaded to the NLIS database before the animals leave the scale.
The OUT of scale transfer must be completed by the close of business the next day after the sale.
The INTO and OUT of scale transfer for livestock going to a property or feedlot, must be uploaded to the NLIS database by the close of business the next day after the sale.
The following information must be uploaded to the NLIS database:
- Vendor/buyer PIC
- Date of sale/transaction
- NLIS or RFID tag number for each animal
- Serial number of the movement record and
- EUSY number.
If an NLIS transfer is completed incorrectly the transfer can be edited or removed and re-uploaded by the scale operator.
The NLIS database sends emails and alerts to inform of any errors or issues related to an NLIS upload.
These emails should be monitored to ensure transfers are completed successfully, and where errors or warnings occur, they are actioned.
Ensure all animals are traded with accurate vendor declarations
An accurate and complete movement record must be present at the time of the animals arrival at the scale.
Animals must not be traded without a vendor declaration.
Agriculture Victoria NLIS Helpline
Our helpline operates between 9am – 4.30pm, Monday to Friday.
Phone: 1800 678 779
NLIS Database Helpdesk Contacts
The NLIS Database Helpdesk is operated by the Integrity Systems Company.
It is open between 9am – 5pm (AEST), Monday to Friday.
Phone: 1800 654 743