Sheep and Goat Electronic Identification (eID) - Frequently Asked Questions

​​​When will mandatory eID for sheep and goats be implemented in Tasmania?​

Tasmania will implement mandatory electronic identification devices (eID) in two stages:

From January 1, 2025:

  • ​Sheep and goats born on or after January 1, 2025, must be identified with an eID tag before leaving their birth property.

  • Individual movements of sheep and goats identified with eID tags must be recorded on the National Livestock Identification System database.

From January 1, 2027:

  • ​​​All sheep and goats after 1 January 2027 must be identified with an eID tag before leaving their birth property.

​​What is an electronic identification (eID)?  

Electronic identification devices (eID) for sheep and goats are an ear tag or a leg band, that contains radio frequency identification (RFID) technology. 

The eID has two numbers linked to it:

  • an RFID 16-digit number that can be read with a scanner 

  • The NLIS ID printed on the outside of the eID tag or leg band. 

Both numbers are uploaded to the National Livestock Identification System (NLIS) database. The NLIS is Australia’s system for the identification and traceability of cattle, pigs, sheep, and goats.

The Sheep Producers' website provides an overview of the eID numbers, codes and colours.

​Can I use any eID?​

No. Only National Livestock Identification System devices accredited by Integrity Systems Company Ltd (ISC) are allowed to be used in sheep and goats in Tasmania. 

These devices: 

  • have undergone years of testing 

  • meet specific quality standards

  • are uploaded to the PIC on the database when ordered

You can find a list of accredited tags and devices for sheep and goats on the Integrity Systems Company website​.

Why is eID being implemented? ​

In a disease outbreak, it's important to quickly find and track infected animals to stop the spread. 

Studies on electronic identification (eID) show that eID are better at tracing sheep and goats than visual tags. In Victoria, data shows that eID tracing takes minutes, compared to several days with the visual system. 

EID technology has been used successfully for sheep in Europe and in cattle in Australia for many years.

More information on the benefits of switching to eID:


​​

What is the National Livestock Identification System? ​

Information about the National Livestock Identification System is on the Integrity Systems website​.

Why should we implement eID if feral animals can spread emergency animal diseases?​

Livestock traceability and feral animal management are both important for controlling the spread of animal diseases. 

Feral animals can contribute to the spread of certain livestock diseases but the biggest concern during an outbreak of an emergency animal disease is the transmission between domesticated animals. 

Because domestic animals are kept in herds the risk of disease spread is higher. That is why managing livestock movements and ensuring traceability are crucial steps in disease prevention and control.

How will the eID reforms be introduced?​​

We are developing new regulations to make electronic identification (eID) for sheep and goats mandatory. This will make eID a legal requirement under the Biosecurity Act 2019.

These regulations will be supported by various policies and standards and will include specific requirements for the electronic identification of these animals.

The new regulations will replace: 

  • the Animal (Brands and Movement) Act 1984 

  • the Animal (Brands and Movement) Regulations 2014 

  • the General Biosecurity Direction (Livestock Traceability)

NRE Tas has created three new project positions to help support the implementation of eID, and those affected by the changes. 

This team began collaborating with livestock owners and supply chain participants in February 2024.

Will there be consultation with industry?​

Biosecurity Tasmania will work closely with industry to support the implementation of sheep and goat eID. Two industry-led advisory groups have been established to inform and support the implementation:

  • Sheep Regulatory Advisory Group (SRAG)

  • Goat Regulatory Advisory Group (GRAG)

These Advisory Groups will: 

  • facilitate the implementation of sheep and goat eID 

  • act as a conduit between industry and government

  • report to the Biosecurity Tasmania Traceability Governance Group (BTTGG) who are the decision-making body for Tasmania's Primary Produce Traceability Program.

Will the NLIS database be upgraded as part of the eID implementation?​

The Australian Government has announced $26 million to upgrade the National Livestock Identification System (NLIS) database.

Integrity Systems Company will develop a new database that:

  • is easy to use, 

  • provides analytics

  • can produce reports

  • prioritises cybersecurity

What Government assistance will be provided to transition to eID?​​

The Department of Natural Resources and Environment Tasmania (NRE Tas) has secured $11.66 million over four years to help the industry transition from the current mob-based visual ear tag system to electronic identification (eID) for sheep and goats.

Available Grants:

For Processors, Saleyards, Livestock Agents and Agencies, Livestock Depots, and Transporters:

  • Grants covering up to 75% of the costs for implementing eID across the supply chain. For eligibility and application guidelines, see the Round 1 Scheme Guidelines:

     Grant Guidelines Sheep and Goat eID (PDF 168Kb)​

For Sheep and Goat Owners:

  • Grants covering up to 75% of the cost for purchasing an eID tag reader and required software.

  • A $1 rebate on the retail price for each eligible eID ear tag and a $4 rebate for each eligible eID goat leg band (excluding GST). For eligibility and guidelines, eID Tag Scheme Guidelines:

     eID Tag Scheme Guidelines (PDF 123Kb)

For Agricultural Show Societies, Livestock Sporting Events, Local Governments, and Not-for-Profit Organizations:

  • Grants covering up to 100% of the cost for purchasing an eID tag reader and required software.

Can I get a rebate on eID tags? ​

Yes. From 1 June 2024 to 1 July 2026, sheep and goat owners can receive a rebate on the purchase of eID tags:

  • $1 rebate per eligible eID ear tag

  • $4 rebate per eligible eID goat leg band

This rebate is available through the following manufacturers:

  • Allflex Australia

  • Datamars

  • Leader Products

  • Enduro Tags

  • Shearwell

For eligibility and guidelines, see the eID Tag Scheme Guidelines:

 eID Tag Scheme Guidelines (PDF 123Kb)

How will the rebate for eID tags be applied?​​

The rebate will be automatically applied at the point of sale, whether online or through your rural supplier. 

No additional paperwork or application forms are required.

I have already purchased eID tags, am I eligible for a rebate?​

If you purchased eligible eID tags between 1 January and 31 May 2024, you can apply for reimbursement online

For eligibility and guidelines, see the eID Tag Scheme Guidelines: 

 eID Tag Scheme Guidelines (PDF 123Kb)

Applications close on September 30, 2024. 

Is there a maximum number of tags I can order under the rebate scheme?​

No. There is no maximum. 

Tag orders will be audited by NRE Tas. Manufacturers will verify order accuracy against the Tasmanian Agricultural Property Database and the National Livestock Information System (NLIS). 

Keep in mind that the pool of funds is limited, and ordering more tags than necessary may limit access to the rebate for other owners.

Can I get a rebate on an eID tag reader?

 Yes:

  • sheep and goat owners can receive a grant covering up to 75% of the purchase cost for an eID tag reader and required software.

  • agricultural show societies, livestock sporting events, local governments, and not-for-profit organizations can receive a grant covering up to 100% of the purchase cost for an eID tag reader (handheld) and required software

​I have ordered a tag reader and paid a deposit - do I need to pay the invoice in full to be able to claim the rebate?​

Yes. The itemised invoice needs to be paid in full prior to any reimbursement being made.

Is a proforma invoice acceptable?​​

No. A proforma invoice is an estimate of the cost of the goods or services for the buyer, provided to give the purchaser an understanding of how much something will cost them. 

A tax invoice is an official document that includes the final price and tax details.

Is GST included in any payment received?

No. Reimbursement payments do not constitute a taxable supply and hence will not be subject to GST.

Which eID tag should my sheep or goat be identified with?

NLIS Accredited Breeder eID Tags:

  • used to permanently identify animals before they leave their property of birth

  • sheep and goats already identified with an NLIS accredited breeder visual tag can also be identified with an eID tag

​NLIS Accredited Post-Breeder eID Tags:​

  • ​used to permanently identify animals that have been introduced to a new property and are not already identified with an eID tag or have lost their original tag.

It is essential to use the correct NLIS accredited eID tag for sheep and goats to ensure accurate tracking of their breeding and life history.

Misidentification can lead to errors in tracking animal movements. Each sheep or goat should be identified with only one NLIS accredited eID tag.

Will Tasmania continue to use the current year-of-birth colour system for eID? ​

Yes, the NLIS Standard for eID allows for year-of-birth colours. The colours are rotated through an eight-year cycle.

Tasmania will continue to strongly recommend use of the year of birth colour system for eIDs. 

The Sheep Producers' website provides an overview of the eID numbers, codes and colours​.

How do I identify older animals leaving my property after 1 January 2027?​

  • Yellow (Generic) Breeder Tag:
    Use this tag to identify animals of any age before they leave their property of birth.

  • Year-of-Birth Breeder Tag:
    Use this tag to identify animals based on their year of birth before they leave their property of birth.

  • Pink Post-Breeder Tag:
    Use this tag for introduced sheep or goats that have no tag or only have a visual tag.

​​How can I tell if an eID tag is NLIS accredited?

All devices that are NLIS accredited will have the NLIS logo printed on them. 

​Can I remove an NLIS accredited tag?

It is an offence to remove an NLIS accredited tag from an animal and apply another tag.  

If an animal has lost a tag and is no longer on its PIC of birth, tag the animal with an NLIS-accredited post-breeder device.

​​​​How can I transition to using eIDs? 

  • ensure your PIC Registration is up to date

  • create a login for your NLIS account

  • research accredited sheep and goat eID tags

  • decide on suitable eIDs based on applicator compatibility, availability, cost, and business needs

  • consider when to start incorporating eIDs into your flock, possibly taking advantage of the tag rebate scheme

What equipment will livestock owners need? ​

Access to eID tag readers (handheld or panel) may be necessary for:

  • moving stock between different PIC’s that you run stock on

  • buying stock privately or direct from another producer

  • utilising scanning equipment and software to store and analyse data to inform   management practices. 

EID tag readers are available for hire at Service Tasmania service centres.

Who is responsible for updating the NLIS database?​

When livestock are physically moved, a transfer must be completed on the NLIS database.

The person responsible for updating the NLIS database varies depending on the situation:

  • saleyard records movements for livestock bought, sold, or moved through them

  • buyers/receivers record direct sales or movements not involving saleyards

  • vendors/senders are not obligated to record movements off their property, but they can

  • abattoirs record movements for all received livestock

How do I record movements of livestock onto my PIC in the NLIS database?​​

From January 1, 2025, to January 1, 2027, sheep and goats with eIDs and visual tags have different NLIS requirements: 

​​Deceased livestock

If livestock with electronic devices die or are destroyed on your PIC, you must notify the NLIS database. 

Integrty Systems provides a how-to decease livestock on PIC guide​.

Once a sheep or goat is tagged, will I need to upload these tags into the National Livestock Identification System database?​​

Once you purchase NLIS accredited eIDs, they are individually registered to your PIC on the NLIS database by the manufacturer.

How can I learn more?​​

As more information becomes available on support for industry and the roll-out of sheep and goat eID it will be published on our website. 

Targeted education, training and awareness workshops will be held in the future to help with the implementation of eID across the sheep and goat supply chain. Information on these workshops will be supplied on our website as information becomes available. Further information on industry support and the roll-out of sheep and goat eID will also be published once more information becomes available. 

Contact

eID Support Officer

Mobile: 0429 968 078