NLIS pigs

Pig owners and keepers NLIS requirements

All owners and keepers of pigs must:

  • register the property where pig/s are kept with a Property Identification Code (PIC) and a tattoo brand number
  • tag or tattoo all pigs moving off their property
  • register with PigPass
  • complete paperwork for all pigs moving off their property
  • complete a movement transfer for all pigs arriving onto their property.

NLIS (Pigs) Standards

The NLIS (Pigs) Standards 2022 provide further information about keeping and trading pigs in Victoria.

How to register a property where pig/s are kept

All pig owners and keepers regardless of the intended use of the pigs (pets, breeders or commercial piggeries) are required to have a PIC identifying the property where pigs are kept and a pig tattoo brand registered to the PIC.

A Victorian PIC starts with the number 3, followed by four letters and three numbers, for example, 3ABCD123. For more information see Property Identification Codes.

A Victorian tattoo brand will start with the number 3, followed by three letters, for example, 3ABC.

Apply for or amend a PIC online

You can apply for or amend a Property Identification Code (PIC) online

Apply for or amend a PIC online

Other ways to apply for a PIC

Fill out one of these downloadable application form and email or post it to us.

Contact the PIC Helpline on 1800 678 779 to have a form sent to you or to amend your PIC.

To apply for a tattoo brand use the application forms:

Tagging and tattoo branding requirements for pigs

Pigs must be identified before being moved off a property with either a tag or tattoo brand depending on their body weight.

  • Less than 25kg – must be tagged
  • More than 25kg – must be tattooed.

The tattoo or tag must identify the property from where the pigs are dispatched.

Ear tags

There are two types of NLIS (Pig) tags available:

  • Breeder tags
  • Post-breeder tags.

NLIS (Pig) breeder tags are yellow and are used to permanently identify pigs before they leave their property of birth.

NLIS (Pig) post-breeder tags are orange and are used to permanently identify introduced pigs.

NLIS (Pig) tags:

Pig tags:

  • are printed with the letter “P” in a circle, the NLIS logo and your PIC
  • issued for use on one property cannot be used to identify animals located on another property with a different PIC
  • must not be removed until the animal is processed at an abattoir
  • cannot be sold, given away or reused.

Tattoo brands

The tattoo brand should be applied:

  • to the left shoulder for all pigs that were born on the property.
  • to the right shoulder for all introduced pigs, and
  • to the right and left rump, in that order for any further property movements.

A good tattoo brand will be clearly readable after the dehairing process.

Position on a pig where tattoos should be placed.

Diagram of a pig showing the left shoulder area where tattoo brands should be placed

An example of tattoo brands on a pig carcass

Hints for good tattoo branding

  • Make sure that the number and letters are in the correct order on the striker plate – stamp a piece of cardboard or look at them in a mirror.
  • Make sure that all needles on the brand are clean – if not cleaned regularly the tattoo brand will become illegible.
  • Use only carbon-based tattooing paste or ink.
  • Reapply paste or ink to the needles before each pig is tattoo branded.
  • All needles must pierce the skin – take a good solid swing making sure that the face of the brand lands flat on the skin – it should leave a rectangular mark on the skin surface.
  • Pigs with excessive dirt or soil may need to be washed on the shoulder area before tattooing.
  • Brands with worn, broken or damaged needles should be replaced.

Where to purchase pig tags and tattoo applicators

Ear tags can be ordered from local rural merchandise stores, or directly from tag manufacturers.

Tattooing equipment including strikers, numbers and ink can be ordered through most stock and station agents or at local rural merchandise stores.


PigPass is a national tracking system that provides information on the movements of pigs in Australia.

PigPass is designed to link pigs to properties via their PICs, ear tags and tattoos and pig movement documentation (the PigPass NVD).

Whether you have one pet pig or hundreds - you must register with PigPass to access PigPass NVDs and record movements of pigs on the PigPass database.

It is free to register with PigPass.

Find out more about PigPass.

Recording movements of pigs

All movements of pigs between properties with differing Property Identification Codes (PICs), must be recorded on the PigPass database within two days of arrival at the new property.

This includes:

  • pet pigs
  • pigs being given away or
  • pigs traded through online selling platforms such as Gumtree and buy, swap, and sell platforms.

You will need information from the PigPass NVD to register a pig movement, so ensure you are provided with one.

You must register with PigPass to access PigPass NVDs and to record movements of pigs on the PigPass database. It is free to register on PigPass.

How to complete a pig movement on the PigPass database

Follow these steps to complete a pig movement on the PigPass database:

  1. A PigPass NVD is completed by the owner or keeper before the pigs leave the property
  2. The PigPass NVD must be provided to the receiver of the pig/s
  3. The receiver of the pigs enters the PigPass NVD details onto the PigPass database to complete the movement transfer

The information shows that pigs have moved between properties on a specific date and indicates where they currently reside.

Paperwork requirements for movements of pigs

A PigPass NVD must be completed by the owner or person responsible for the husbandry of pigs, before they are:

  • moved to a property with a different Property Identification Code (PIC)
  • sent to an abattoir, scale or saleyard
  • given away or sold as pets.

This applies to all pig owners and keepers, regardless of the numbers of the pigs moved.

You must register with PigPass to access PigPass NVDs.


PigPass helpdesk 1800 001 458, email or visit the PigPass website

Agriculture Victoria 1800 678 779

Page last updated: 21 Mar 2023