National Livestock Identification System for sheep and goats

The National Livestock Identification System (NLIS) is Australia's system for identifying and tracing:

  • sheep
  • lambs
  • goats.

All sheep movements are recorded on the national NLIS database. The mob based system enables animals to be traced to their property of birth and last property of residence. It also allows Australia to contain and manage major disease or food safety incidents.

Download the NLIS moving and selling sheep and goats using the mob-based database (PDF 1.9 MB) brochure for more information.

All properties with sheep and goats require a property identification code (PIC). All sheep and goats must be identified with a visually readable NLIS device before being moved to any property or location with a different PIC. They must also be accompanied by movement documentation. Movement documents must be kept for 7 years.

NLIS devices

There are two types of NLIS devices used for the permanent identification of sheep:
  • breeder tags
  • post breeder tags.

Breeder tags

Breeder tags are for identifying sheep and goats still on their property of birth. They can be any colour except pink.

It is recommended that coloured tags are attached according to what year the animal was born:

  • 2010 – orange
  • 2011 – light green
  • 2012 – purple
  • 2013 – yellow
  • 2014 – red
  • 2015 – blue
  • 2016 – black
  • 2017 – white.

Post breeder tags

Post breeder tags are attached to sheep and goats that:

  • have moved from their property of birth and lost their original tag
  • where it is not practical to record the original PIC on their tag on the movement document.

They must be pink in colour.

More information

Page Last Reviewed: 03 Jan 2018
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