National Livestock Identification System

The National Livestock Identification System, (NLIS) is Australia’s system for identification and traceability of livestock. It was introduced in 1999 to meet European Union requirements for cattle exports. Since then it has expanded to enable cattle, goats and sheep to be traced from property of birth to slaughter for:

  • Biosecuity
  • Meat safety
  • Product integrity
  • Market access

NLIS is endorsed by major feedlot, agent, saleyard and processor bodies. It is also underpinned by State/Territory legislation, which forms the regulatory framework for the system.

NLIS Ltd operates the central NLIS database on which livestock movements must be recorded. 

State/Territory authorities can provide information on: 

      • Property Identification Codes (PICs)
      • Ordering NLIS devices imprinted with your PIC

NLIS regulations for goats

For goat producers, NLIS means: 

  • All managed goats must be identified with an approved NLIS ear tag before leaving their property, whether destined for a saleyard, abattoir, sale over-the-hooks (OTH) or another property with a different PIC.

  • All transported goats, not just managed goats, must be accompanied by accurate and fully completed movement documents, generally a LPA NVD/Waybill.

This system is being reinforced through the centralised recording of movement information on the NLIS database. This mob-based movement recording requires the movement of all goats from one property to another with a different PIC to be recorded on the NLIS database.

There are some state based exemptions or additional requirements for dairy goats, show goats and rangeland goats which can be discussed with your state department of primary industries or agriculture.

Registered Goat Depots 

The Goat Industry Council of Australia (GICA) with support from the Australian Meat Industry Council (AMIC) developed the NLIS Industry Standards for Operating a Goat Depot and User Manual (Standard Operating Procedures).

As outlined in the User Manual, for a goat depot to operate NLIS tag free, the operator must be registered as a goat depot with their relevant state jurisdiction. To meet the requirements for registration, the goat depot operator must:

  • ensure the depot PIC is specifically for the goat depot (goats only);
  • ensure the PIC is fully Livestock Production Assurance (LPA) accredited; 
  • agree to participate in an annual LPA audit; 
  • have a goat depot NLIS database account; 
  • have a letter from a goat meat processor indicating that the depot is, or will be, a supplier of 
goats on a commercial basis; and 
  • agree to comply with all NLIS requirements relating to the ongoing operation of a goat depot.

Contact GICA, for further information or to enquire about registering a goat depot or access a list of registered goat depots.

Contacts

State and Territory contacts