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.
The NLIS (Sheep & Goats) in other states is still based on the use of visually readable ear tags. Other states are considering following Victoria’s lead by transitioning to electronic sheep and goat identification; however, no commencement date has been announced.