Tracing system prepared for disease response

Victoria’s modern traceability system will enable authorities to quickly respond if foot-and-mouth disease (FMD), or another emergency animal disease, is detected in the state.

Agriculture Victoria can use the electronic system to quickly identify the location of animals, trace their movements and contact owners or other potential outbreak sites.

Property Identification Codes

Everyone who owns or keeps livestock or equines  – including as pets or a single animal – in Victoria must apply for a Property Identification Code (PIC). PICs record the location of livestock and help us contact you in the event of a disease outbreak like foot-and-mouth disease.

Saleyards, abattoirs, knackeries, stock agents, scales and other livestock businesses must also have a PIC.

Foot-and-mouth disease in susceptible livestock spreads most commonly through the movement of infected animals. In sheep the symptoms can be absent or very mild, and the movement of undetected infected sheep can be an important source of infection.

National Livestock Identification System

While PICs identify the property, the National Livestock Identification System (NLIS) and PigPass databases identify and trace the movement of individual livestock. When livestock move onto a property it must be recorded within two days of arrival. Accurate and timely uploads will ensure any possible disease spread can be tracked quickly.

Electronic identification

In Victoria, a unique, electronic tag identifier is attached to cattle, sheep and non-exempt goats to enable access to movement data and other information about individual animals.

Read about the benefits of NLIS on beef farms.

Livestock owners must ensure cattle, sheep and non-exempt goats are fitted with electronic tags before leaving their properties. Pigs must be identified, either with an electronic tag or tattoo, prior to moving properties. There are requirements about how livestock are tagged, and the type of tags used.

Read more about Livestock identification and ordering NLIS tags.

This advanced electronic traceability system is protecting Australia’s supply chains and will enable a swift response in the event of a foot-and-mouth disease detection.

Apply today and play your part to help protect our agriculture, our economy, and our unique natural environment

Further information

Page last updated: 18 Nov 2022