A NSW Government website

8-step guide to moving and selling sheep and goats

Wondering what to do when moving or selling sheep and goats in NSW? Here are 8 steps for you to follow to make sure you are complying with National Livestock Identification System (NLIS) Regulation.

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

Have you got an active PIC for your property? Contact your nearest Local Land Services (LLS) or phone 1300 795 299 to register.

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

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

To obtain a book of NVDs or an electronic NVD (eNVD) 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 an 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.
  • Movement of goats to and from depots are done by goat depot operators.
  • All other sheep and goat movements are recorded in the NLIS database by the receiver of the stock, e.g. when buying sheep in a private sale, the buyer is responsible.

Step 5: Purchase NLIS tags

Year of birth colour tags

Year of birth colour tags

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 if it is still present, 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.

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

Feral goats going direct to an abattoir or an approved goat depot do not require a tag.

Step 7: Complete the NVD

NVD sample

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

The NVD is a legal document and must be completed correctly, you must 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.

If you are selling sheep from agistment, use an NVD with a PIC for the agistment property.

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

Step 8: Complete transfer on NLIS database (if you buy or receive sheep or goats)

Note: Sheep and Goats are traced as a mob, so individual NLIS numbers are not required.

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.