NLIS for Cattle

The National Livestock Identification System (NLIS Cattle) provides a permanent, whole of life identification system that enables individual animals to be tracked from property of birth to slaughter for food safety, product integrity and market access purposes.

Cattle within the system are uniquely identified with a NLIS-approved device, either an ear tag or rumen bolus/ear tag combination. Each device contains a microchip that allows it to be read electronically by scanners installed at saleyards, abattoirs and farms.

Once cattle are read, the data containing details of the property of origin and new property of residence is transferred to the NLIS database over the Internet, creating a traceable record of where animals have been.

Current Requirements

  • All cattle leaving a property must be NLIS identified.*
  • All cattle movements are to be recorded on the NLIS database. This means that property to property movements will have to be recorded on the NLIS Database. This is the responsibility of the receiver of the cattle. Saleyards and abattoirs transfer cattle they receive. See Transferring Cattle.

* Bobby calves consigned for slaughter are exempt from the System and can continue to use the bobby calf ear tags.

NLIS is underpinned by State legislation. Failure to use NLIS devices correctly can result in penalties of up to $15,700 for an individual and $31,400 for a company. Please read the Conditions of Use for Permanent Identification Devices for Cattle.

Further information see the NLIS website.

Further Information

NLIS Helpdesk
National Livestock Identification System (NLIS) Ltd
Locked Bag 991
Phone: 1800 654 743



NLIS Forms and Requests
GPO Box 44
Hobart TAS 7001
Phone: 1300 368 550

Registrar of Animal Brands
Biosecurity Tasmania
Product Integrity and Food Safety
New Town Research Laboratories
13 St Johns Avenue - New Town - Tasmania 7008
GPO Box 44
New Town TAS 7008
Phone: 03 6165 3777