National Livestock Identification System - Pigs

NLIS Pigs is Australia’s system for the identification and tracing of pigs for biosecurity, food safety, product integrity and market access purposes.

As of 1 February 2018 new requirements for the identification and movement of pigs will be introduced.

All properties with pigs require a property identification code (PIC) and an associated Pig Brand

Producers, saleyards, show societies, live exporters and abattoirs will all be required to report the movement of all pigs between properties on the PigPass database.

Movement Documents and Movement recording

  • NLIS Pigs requires all pig movements between properties not covered by the same PIC to be reported to the PigPass database within 48 hours of the movement. This can be done using a PigPass account, available free on the PigPass website, or the PigPass app when available. It is the responsibility of the receiver of pigs to report the movement.
  • Whether you move one pig, 20 pigs or a pet pig, you must have a movement document (PigPass) that accompanies the pigs. This includes movements to other farms or properties where ownership changes, abattoirs, saleyards or showgrounds. These movement records must be kept for three years.
  • APIQ ® accredited properties should be aware that any property to property (P2P) movements of pigs between different PICs where ownership does not change:
    1. do not require a PigPass
    2. pigs do not need to be identified with a tattoo or tag
    3. the movement must still be reported to the PigPass database using their APIQ ü® or PigPass account. This is an auditable standard.

Identification methods

Slap brand or tattoo:

  • For pigs born on a property. Before leaving the property of birth they must be branded on the left shoulder with the tattoo assigned by PIRSA Biosecurity for that property.
  • For pigs introduced to a property or of unknown origin. Before leaving the property they must be branded on the right shoulder with the tattoo assigned by PIRSA Biosecurity for that property. For subsequent movements they must be branded on the right rump and left rump in that order.
  • If branding, pig producers must brand their pigs with a registered brand before sale or slaughter.
  • Pig brands are designed to be read after the pig has been killed.

Brand details:

  • Pig brands consist of three letters of the alphabet.
  • Brands are made by dipping the points of needles in a carbon-based fluid or paste and then slapping them firmly against the side of the pig. The needles must penetrate about 2-3 mm into the skin. The needles leave the carbon behind in the shape of the letters.

Placement:

The brand must be placed on the:

  • left shoulder for pigs bred from the owner’s stock
  • right shoulder for pigs that have been purchased.

Pigs that have been slaughtered may be branded on both shoulders.

NLIS approved pig tags

  • For pigs born on a property. Before leaving the property of birth they must be tagged in the pig’s left ear with a yellow ‘breeder’ NLIS approved pig tag.
  • For pigs introduced to a property or of unknown origin (‘post breeder’). Before leaving the property they must be tagged in the pig’s right ear with an orange ‘post breeder’ NLIS approved pig tag.
  • NLIS approved pig tags are printed with the letter “P” in the circle, the NLIS logo and your PIC.
  • Once an NLIS pig tag is applied, it must not be removed until the animal is processed at an abattoir – as a result a pig can accumulate a number of ear tags over its lifetime.
  • If a pig loses its tag whilst on the property it MUST BE replaced.
  • NLIS pig tags issued for use on one property cannot be used to identify animals located on another property with a different PIC
  • NLIS pig tags cannot be sold, given away or reused and it is an offence to use somebody else’s swine brand number on your pigs.

Accredited Pig Tags are available through rural re-sellers:

  • Allflex Integra tag (for pigs over 25kg)
  • Allflex  Litter Max Tag (for pigs less than 25kg)
  • Datamars Hog Tag (for pigs over 25kg)
  • Leader Products Pig Button Tag.

Go to an information sheet about the accredited pig tags.

Identifying weaners

  • To maintain traceability, weaners must be identified before movement with NLIS approved pig tags are that are designed to identify pigs under 25kg or they can be tattooed with a special weaner striker this is pressed into the weaner pig’s skin.
  • Piglets that have not been weaned and are moving with their mother are exempt from identification.

More information

For more information on PigPass:

Contact PIRSA Biosecurity SA to register, cancel or transfer a brand or PIC:

Page Last Reviewed: 23 Jan 2018
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