NLIS (sheep and goats) background

NLIS (Sheep & Goats) was introduced in 2006 based on the use of visually readable tags along with paper-based movement documents. The key driver was concern about the role that sheep and goats could play in a foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) outbreak. Sheep are often symptomless carriers of this serious emergency disease.

The mob-based visual tag system did not meet Australia’s National Traceability Performance Standards (NLTPS) and was not likely to be effective in a disease emergency. Enhancements were not practical or cost effective. A decision was taken in 2016 with broad industry support to introduce in Victoria an electronic tag based NLIS (Sheep & Goats) system.

From 1 January 2022, all sheep and non-exempt goats need to be identified with an electronic NLIS (Sheep) tag before leaving a Victorian farm.

Australia’s federal, state and territory governments have decided to introduce an electronic tag-based NLIS (Sheep & Goats) system aligning with Victoria’s approach.

Decisions are yet to be made on the commencement date and how the system will be implemented in each state and territory.

Page last updated: 28 Dec 2023