Livestock Identification

To buy, sell or move livestock from one property to another or for slaughter, animals must be properly identified. Livestock identification allows animals to be traced back to where they have come from or to where they may have been moved in the event of a disease outbreak or chemical contamination.

If you have a PIC number (e.g. MABC1234) and are already registered for NLIS tags please order from your local rural agent store or any online company.

In this topic

  • About Livestock Identification
    Livestock identification and traceback are essential part of ensuring food safety. Find out what you need to do when buying or selling livestock.
  • Buying & Selling Cattle
    What you need to do if you wish to buy or sell cattle.
  • Buying & Selling Sheep and Goats
    What you must do if you wish to buy or sell sheep or goats,
  • Buying and Selling Pigs
    What you need to do if you wish to buy or sell pigs.
  • Livestock Identification Forms
    Commonly requested forms used in livestock identification
  • Vendor Declarations
    A vendor declaration is now required by legislation to be supplied to the receiver of the stock for all transactions involving cattle, sheep,pigs or goats.
  • Brands, Earmarks & Tattoos
    The Animal (Brands and Movement) Act 1984 requires compulsory body tattooing of pigs over 10 weeks of age before being sent for sale or slaughter, and provides for the registration of earmarks, bodybrands and tags for sheep and cattle.
  • Hobby Farmers and the NLIS
    A fact sheet for smallholders and hobby farmers on how to comply with the National Livestock Identification System (NLIS).
  • Livestock Traceability - Resources and Information
    The many benefits of effective traceability can be seen in individual business and industry as a whole – livestock can be easily linked to a property and an owner and it allows for the effective surveillance of endemic and exotic diseases. Below are some useful livestock traceability resources and information:
  • General Biosecurity Direction - Livestock Traceability
    Details of the General Biosecurity Direction (livestock traceability) which was issued on 29 September 2022, in force for 5 years.
  • Sheep and goat electronic identification
    Traceability is important not only for biosecurity and product integrity but to maintain market advantages and consumer confidence. The emergence of Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) and Lumpy Skin Disease (LSD) in Indonesia has increased the risk of an incursion of these diseases into Australia, and reaffirmed the need for a robust and harmonised national traceability system. The transition to eID will mean a change from a visual, mob-based traceability system to a system where individual sheep and goats are traced using electronic identification tags.

​In addition to Vendor Declarations, a Health Statement (available from the Animal Health Australia Farm Biosecurity website) may be required by legislation, the purchaser or person in-charge of the destination property. These Health Statements provide specific biosecurity information about the animals being moved for sale, agistment or other reasons.


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.

NLIS Forms and Requests

GPO Box 44,
Hobart, TAS, 7001.