National Livestock Identification System for cattle

The National Livestock Identification System (NLIS) is Australia's system for identifying and tracing cattle in cases of food safety or disease events. It also helps to maintain consumer confidence in and protect market access for beef and dairy products.

The NLIS records cattle movements through a national database. All cattle are individually identified and tracked from property of birth to point of slaughter.

Instructions for producers

  1. All cattle moved from their property of birth must be tagged with an electronic NLIS device.
  2. All cattle must be registered to the NLIS database. Go to the NLIS database.
  3. The database must be updated every time cattle are moved to any location with a different Property Identification Code. Updates must be made within 2 working days of the cattle being moved.
  4. All cattle movements require a movement document

NLIS devices

There are two types of NLIS devices used for the permanent identification of cattle:

  1. White tags: used to permanently identify cattle before they leave their property of birth. Tags will have a unique number printed on the outside (including the Property Identification Code) as well as the electronic number inside the tag.
  2. Orange tags: used to permanently identify cattle that are no longer on their property of birth and have lost their original white tag.

Using NLIS devices

All cattle must have a white tag attached before leaving their property of birth.

  • Do not fit a white breeder tag to animals not born on your property.
  • Do not attach a second NLIS device to any animal.
  • Do not remove any functioning tag to replace it with a new one.
  • Producers who are unable to safely tag their animals must obtain a permit from Biosecurity SA to move their cattle without NLIS identification.

How to move cattle with the NLIS

Page Last Reviewed: 12 Feb 2015
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