Moving animals between properties

When cattle, sheep, goats and pigs are moved between properties with different Property Identification Codes (PICs), the person receiving the livestock is required to register the movement. The movement must be registered on the National Livestock Identification System (NLIS) or PigPass database within two days of the animal/s arrival at the new property.

This movement shows that the animals have moved on a specific date from one PIC to another and indicates where they currently reside.

Video: Introducing new livestock

Are you getting new animals?

Animals can carry diseases and pests without showing signs, so it’s important to carefully manage the introduction of new animals to protect the rest of your stock.

Register the land on which you keep, hold or house animals with a Property Identification Code, also known as a PIC.

It’s quick and easy to get or update on the Agriculture Victoria website.

All cattle, sheep and goats must be tagged with a National Livestock Identification System tag before leaving a property. Small pigs must be ear tagged and larger pigs tattooed.

Remember, all animals need to come with movement documentation such as a National Vendor Declaration (NVD). It is also recommended that you request an Animal Health Declaration (AHD).

When your animals arrive at your property, make sure you register their movement through the NLIS or PigPass databases.

Be sure to monitor the health of your new livestock and quarantine them in line with your biosecurity plan.

The biosecurity of animals returning from agricultural shows or field days should be managed in a similar way.

If you see something unusual, contact your vet or call the Emergency Animal Disease Hotline on 1800 675 888.

Authorised by the Victorian Government, 1 Treasury Place, Melbourne.

Requirements when moving animals between properties

Movement of animals includes:

  • private sales of animals
  • animals being agisted or lent
  • animals traded through online selling platforms such as AuctionsPlus, Gumtree and Facebook.

In these situations, the buyer or receiver of the animals is responsible for ensuring that the movement on the NLIS or PigPass database is completed.

The NLIS or PigPass database movement record must be completed either:

  • within two days (48 hours) of the livestock arriving at the new property
  • before the animals leave the property if within two days.

A person may engage a third party to scan tags and report movements to the NLIS or PigPass database, e.g. a stock agent, transporter or other service provider. However, the buyer/receiver is still required to ensure the transfer is completed on their behalf.

When animals are bought, sold or moved through a saleyard, scale, public auction conducted on-farm or sold directly to an abattoir or knackery, it is the responsibility of the person operating that business to notify the database.

Recording movements of cattle, sheep and goats on the NLIS database

Information on the movement of cattle, sheep and goats throughout Australia is stored on the NLIS database.

Follow these steps to complete a cattle, sheep or goat NLIS movement record on the NLIS database:

  1. You must have access to an NLIS database account to record movements of livestock movements on the NLIS database. Create a new account online or by calling 1800 638 111. There is no charge to start an account.
  2. Log in to the NLIS database by entering your user ID and password.
  3. Select the livestock species relevant to the movement record.
  4. Select 'Notify the database of – Livestock moved onto my property'
  5. Enter the details directly or upload a file that contains the details.

You'll need the following details:

  • NLIS tag numbers
  • date the livestock arrived on the property
  • PIC of the property of dispatch
  • PIC of the property of receival
  • National Vendor Declaration serial number
  • number of head of stock in the consignment (sheep and goats only).

Find more information by accessing the NLIS FAQ.

Watch this video for a step-by-step guide on how to complete an animal movement on the NLIS database.

[Narrator] This video will explain how to complete an individual sheep property-to-property transfer on the NLIS database.

Enter into your browser. You will see the following screen.

[Visual: NLIS home page with 'Welcome to NLIS' and buttons to Register and Log in]

You can either log in if you have an existing NLIS account, or register for NLIS producer account.

To register for an account, click on Register.

[Visual: Register screen with the following steps:

  1. a checkbox to Agree to the NLIS Terms of Use
  2. Choose your account type
  3. Provide your account details
  4. Choose your password
  5. Click register]

You will need to fill out your details and click Register. You will receive an email from the NLIS database confirming your application.

[Visual: Return to NLIS home page, navigate to Log in. Log in screen has the following options:

  • NLIS User ID and Password
  • Forgot User ID
  • Forgot password, or
  • Log in with MyMLA]

To log on to the NLIS database, add in your NLIS user ID and password. If you have forgotten you user ID or password, click on the icons and send. You also have the option to log into the NLIS database through your MyMLA login if you have it set up.

Once you log in to your NLIS account, you will see the old Dashboard. You will need to change to the new Dashboard.

[Visual: Navigate to 'Welcome back [Your name]. Select dropdown. From list, select New Dashboard.]

Once you have selected the new Dashboard, you need to ensure you are working with Sheep (individual).

[Visual: New Dashboard. Select dropdown, from list select 'Sheep (individual)'.]

You now need to select the option, notify the database of Livestock moved onto my property (sheep individual). That will take you to the transfer screen.

[Visual: Navigate to left sidebar. Select 'Notify the database of'. From list, select 'Livestock moved onto my property'. Transfer screen.]

Step 1: Type in the data. You can enter the electronic NLIS e-tags of the sheep into the first box. This can be completed by copying and pasting the RFIDs directly from the file you downloaded onto your computer from your scanner, or by typing in the visual number, the NLIS ID, as shown.

If you are typing the visual number, ensure that numbers and digits are all correct, otherwise you might transfer the incorrect animal or someone else's animal.

You will then need to enter the total number of head in the consignment. The PIC you are moving the animals from will need to be entered in the next box. This PIC can be found on the NVD, the National Vendor Declaration, that arrived with the animals.

The PIC you are moving them to is pre-entered from the PIC or PICs linked to your NLIS account.

The NVD number must be entered in the next box.

The date the livestock moved must be entered. This date must reflect the date the animals arrived on your property, not the date you completed the NLIS transfer.

[Visual: Select Continue. Proceed to next screen.]

Step 2: validate the data. This screen includes the details of your proposed NLIS transfer, including the NLIS IDs, RFIDs, PIC, NVD number, and movement date for you to validate and make any changes if required.

[Visual: Columns with NLIS ID/RFID, From PIC, To PIC, NVD Serial Number, Movement Date. One of the NLIS IDs is coloured red to indicate an error.]

For this example, the NLIS ID doesn't have the correct number of characters. Once the data is all correct, Process Data can be selected.

[Visual: Select Process Data. Procced to next screen.]

Step 3: Process Data. The last screen informs you if the transfer has been processed successfully or not, and provides you with an upload ID for your reference. You'll also be sent an email from the NLIS database regarding the transfer and upload details.

[Visual: Confirmation screen that reads 'Data has been processed successfully. Your upload ID is…'.]

Recording movements of pigs on the PigPass database

NLIS (Pigs) standards have been agreed nationally to provide mob-based movement traceability for the pig industry. PigPass is a national tracking system that provides real-time information on the movements of all pigs in Australia.

When pigs are dispatched to a property with a different PIC, the receiver of the pigs must report the movement online using the originating sender's serial number from the PigPass NVD.

PigPass is designed to link pigs to a property of origin using:

  • a PIC
  • registered pig identification (ear tags and tattoos)
  • pig movement documentation (the PigPass NVD).

Information about PigPass can be found under the FAQ tab on PigPass or by calling the PigPass helpdesk on 1800 001 458.

Page last updated: 18 Dec 2023