NLIS: 8-step guide to moving & selling sheep and goats

Farmer with tagged sheep

The NLIS (sheep and goats) enhances Australia’s ability to maintain access to key export markets and helps to quickly contain a major food safety or disease incident.

NLIS allows animals to be tracked from property of birth to slaughter, for biosecurity, food safety, product integrity and market access purposes.

Step 1: Make sure you have a Property Identification Code (PIC)

Have you got an active PIC? Contact your nearest Local Land Services (LLS), phone 1300 795 299 or visit the LLS website.

Step 2: Become accredited with the Livestock Production Assurance (LPA) Program

To move stock off your property, you need to complete a National Vendor Declaration (Sheep or Goats NVD and Waybill).

To obtain a book of NVDs or an electronic NVD (eDec) with your PIC, you need to become accredited with Livestock Production Assurance (LPA).

Register on the MLA website or phone 1800 683 111.

Step 3: Order National Vendor Declarations (NVDs)

Order your NVDs via the LPA website or by phone.

NVDs are issued in a book of 20 pre-printed with your PIC details, or are available as an eDec.

Order from the MLA website or phone 1800 683 111.

Step 4: Create a National Livestock Identification System (NLIS) database account

All mob-based movements must  be recorded on the NLIS database. Movements of:

  • sheep and goats to and from saleyards and to abattoirs are done by saleyard and abattoir operators
  • goats to and from depots are done by goat depot operators

All other sheep and goat movements between PICs are recorded in the NLIS database by the receiver of the stock, e.g. when buying sheep in a private sale.

Step 5: Purchase NLIS tags

Sheep and goat breeder tag colours

NLIS tags can be ordered through your local rural merchandiser, LLS or tag manufacturer. Place your order at least 14 days before you need them.

What tags do I order?

It’s highly recommended that you use year of birth coloured tags in NSW. For approved NLIS tags, visit the MLA website.

Breeder tags

Breeder tags are coloured, and are applied to animals born on your property.

Post-breeder tags

These are applied to sheep or goats no longer on their property of birth, or to introduced animals that have lost their original tag.

If you are applying a post-breeder tag, leave the property of birth tag in the ear, as well as applying the post-breeder tag.

Step 6: Check sheep and goat tags

Before selling any stock, check each animal has an NLIS ear tag, with the exception of feral goats going direct to an abattoir or an approved goat depot.

For any bought-in sheep or goats (non-vendor bred), record the PIC from the tag of these animals on the NVD.

Stock without an ear tag must be tagged with a tag printed with your PIC. Breeder tags are to be used for home bred sheep, and pink post-breeder tags for bought-in stock.

Step 7: Complete the NVD

The NVD or other movement document, such as a Transported Stock Statement, must be completed prior to movement of your stock.

  • the NVD is a legal document and must be completed correctly. Answer all questions
  • if you have sheep from several PICs in the consignment, you must list all PICs on the NVD. Use an attachment form if they don’t all fit on the NVD
  • use an NVD for the agistment property if you are selling sheep from agistment
  • keep your copy of the completed NVD for 7 years


  • record your NLIS user ID and password
  • it’s illegal to remove any NLIS tags
  • it’s illegal to make alterations to the pre-printed PIC or the NVD

National Vendor Declaration (Sheep and Lambs) and Waybill form

Step 8: Complete transfer on NLIS database

NLIS Sheep and Goats is a mob-based system. Complete a transfer in 4 simple steps.

  1. Log onto the database, with your user ID and password.
  2. Select Mob-based movement off or onto PIC. You can choose one of two methods of entering data – type in the details (simplest), or upload a file.
  3. Enter the following details:
    1. species
    2. date of movement
    3. from PIC and number of head
    4. to PIC
    5. NVD Serial Number
    6. other PICS listed on NVD
    7. has the stock been bred by the vendor?
    8. NVD image (if possible)
  4. Follow prompts to confirm details and send the information to the database.

With sheep and goats, all you need to know to complete an NLIS transfer is what’s on the NVD:

  • the PIC the animals are from
  • the PIC you are moving animals to
  • date
  • number of head
  • NVD serial number
  • whether stock were vendor bred
  • other PICs.


  • Saleyards record movements of sheep and goats to and from their premises, and abattoirs record movements to the abattoir.
  • Agents can assist in recording movements of sheep and goats onto your property after a private livestock sale.

Need more information?

For more information or help to complete a mob-based movement on the NLIS database, call 1800 654 743, or Local Land Services 1300 795 299.

To obtain a hardcopy of this guide, please email