Victorian sheep traceability requirements

Since the introduction of sheep electronic identification (EID) in Victoria in 2017, the livestock industry has demonstrated a sound level of compliance with the new requirements. Agriculture Victoria conducts monitoring and education to support the livestock industry to ensure traceability. Monitoring involves conducting audits and surveillance at saleyards and other important points along the supply chain, as well as investigating any noncompliance detected. The main compliance issues that have been identified are:

  • untagged or incorrectly tagged animals leaving properties
  • National Vendor Declarations not being correctly completed
  • animals privately purchased not being transferred on the National Livestock Identification System (NLIS) database by the purchaser.

Requirements for sheep producers in Victoria are summarised on this page.

Property Identification Code (PIC)

Ensure your PIC is up-to-date, with correct land parcel and contact information. Having an up-to-date PIC is vital for contact tracing of livestock during an emergency animal disease outbreak, food safety issue or natural disaster affecting land with livestock.

Livestock movements between properties with different PICs require a transfer to be recorded on the NLIS database. If you have any changes or updates that are needed to your PIC, you can create, update or amend your PIC online or phone 1800 678 779.


It’s important to check your sheep are all correctly identified with an NLIS (Sheep) tag before loading and dispatch. Make sure you have ordered enough NLIS (Sheep) tags in advance of the date that you plan to dispatch sheep off your property.

All sheep born on a Victorian property after 1 January 2017 require an electronic NLIS (Sheep) tag. All sheep born before 1 January 2017 require an electronic or visual NLIS (Sheep) tag. If sheep already have a functioning electronic NLIS (Sheep) tag, do not apply another tag.

Have you introduced sheep born interstate onto your Victorian property? Any interstate sheep born after 1 January 2019 must have an electronic NLIS (Sheep) tag before leaving your Victorian property. If the sheep do not have an electronic NLIS (Sheep) tag, you are required to apply a pink post-breeder electronic NLIS (Sheep) tag before the sheep leave your Victorian property.

From 1 January 2022, all sheep, regardless of their age and origin, will require an electronic NLIS tag before leaving a Victorian property.

National Vendor Declaration (NVD)

An NVD must be completed fully and accurately when livestock are transported between properties with different PICs. Allow yourself enough time to complete the NVD before the livestock leave your property. The declaration must be signed and dated to validate the NVD.

Ensure the full address of where the journey commenced is recorded and you provide a detailed description of the livestock in your consignment. Identify whether the sheep are bred on your property (vendor bred) or introduced (non-vendor bred). For any non-vendor bred sheep that have visual (non-electronic) NLIS (Sheep) tags, a list of the additional PICs in the consignment is required in the description table; alternatively, you can apply a pink post-breeder NLIS (Sheep) tag.

Property-to-property (P2P) transfers

When moving livestock between properties with two different PICs, a transfer on the NLIS database is required. When receiving livestock privately (including through online trading platforms such as Auctions Plus, Gumtree and Facebook), the person receiving the livestock is legally responsible for ensuring a transfer on the NLIS database occurs within two days of receiving the livestock.

To complete a transfer, log in to your NLIS database account or phone NLIS database assistance on 1800 654 743.

Page last updated: 22 Oct 2021