Ahead of the NSW state election on 25 March 2023, the NSW Government caretaker period has commenced. Limited updates will be made to this website during this period.
NLIS (Sheep & Goats) is Australia's system for identifying and tracing sheep, lambs and goats. It is a mob-based system that links animals with the properties on which they have run.
The National Livestock Identification System enhances Australia's ability to maintain access to key export markets and will help to quickly contain a major food safety or disease incident. It is implemented by industry in partnership with governments across Australia.
NLIS (Sheep & Goats) was introduced on 1 January 2006. It uses visually readable ear tags printed with a Property Identification Code (PIC) to identify individual sheep and goats as part of a mob-based system. Traceability is provided by the combination of tags, movement documents and the recording of all movements of sheep and goats in the NLIS database.
The key to achieving high levels of traceability is the prompt recording of all movements of sheep and goats in the NLIS database by saleyard, abattoir and knackery operators, agents and producers.
The NLIS in NSW is supported by the Biosecurity (NLIS) Regulation 2017.
The NSW requirements are summarised below.
Producers reselling sheep and goats which they have bought previously can:
The retention for 7 years of NLIS movement documents by vendors and purchasers of sheep and goats assists with traceability.
Important: Only attach tags to sheep and goats that are printed with the PIC of the property on which they will be tagged. Do not use these tags to identify sheep and goats on a property with a different PIC.
Movement documents can be an NVD, a TSS or a Post Sale summary (issued by saleyards that summarises information on the NVD). The document must include the following information:
Information about Livestock Production Assurance (LPA) NVDs, eDECs and other licensed eNVDs is available from the LPA website , by ringing the LPA helpline on 1800 683 111 or by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org
NLIS (Sheep & Goats) breeder tags must be used to identify sheep and goats before they leave their property of birth. It is recommended that year of birth colour tags are used (see table below).
NLIS (Sheep & Goats) post-breeder tags are pink and can be used to identify sheep and goats no longer on their property of birth or those which have lost their breeder tag.
All NLIS (Sheep & Goats) tags can be attached to either the right or left ear as long as the tags don't obscure any earmark.
It is strongly recommended that you use the national 'year of birth' colour system for breeder tags. The NLIS tag colours for lambs born in a particular year are listed below.
Yes. Saleyards record mob-based movements of sheep and goats to the saleyard PIC and to their post-sale destination, including to abattoirs and properties, by close of business on sale day for slaughter sheep or by COB the day after the sale for all other sheep.
Abattoirs record movements of sheep and goat mobs to the abattoir PIC in the NLIS database and also record them as deceased in the NLIS database within 2 days of their slaughter.
All mob-based movements of sheep and goats between properties (P2P movements) must be recorded in the NLIS database by recording the information contained in the NLIS movement document. This is done by the owner or receiver of the stock at the property to which the stock has moved and must be recorded within 2 days.
A property could be a small or large farm, a feedlot, a goat depot, a showground or campdraft venue, for example. Note that a mob can be as few as one animal.
To open an NLIS account go to the NLIS database webpage and click on ‘Register’ and choose your account type as ‘Producer’ .
If you are unable to record the movement of sheep and goats onto your property, your stock and station agent or Local Land Services should be able to help you.
All sheep and farmed goats must be tagged before they leave their property of birth.
However, feral goats are exempt from tagging if they move directly from their property of capture to slaughter, or via one goat depot to an abattoir for slaughter. This exemption does not apply to goats sold at a saleyard, or feral goats moved to another property from a goat depot. See the ‘NLIS Industry Standards for Operating a Goat Depot and User Manual’ for goat depots on the Goat Industry Council of Australia website.
Dairy goats and earless goats are exempt from tagging for movements between properties (P2P movement) until suitable alternative identification methods are found. Dairy and earless goats going to a saleyard or to an abattoir must still be tagged.
Occasionally some animals may be moved without tags in special circumstances, such as from properties without suitable facilities for tagging or in an emergency such as a flood or fire. Contact Local Land Services for advice in these circumstances.
Order tags from your preferred rural merchandiser or directly from a tag manufacturer.
A list of NLIS accredited tags and their suppliers is available on the NLIS website. Tags must be printed with the PIC of the property on which they are used. Other information may be printed on the other side of NLIS tags.
You can use individual NLIS accredited electronic tags for sheep and goats; they must ordered for the PIC on which the tags will be attached. You must not use NLIS Cattle tags on sheep.