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Buying and Selling Livestock

Cattle

All properties that have livestock including cattle must have a Property Identification Code (PIC).

You can register your PIC with PIRSA here: https://pir.sa.gov.au/biosecurity/animal_health/property_identification_code_pic

The Livestock Production Assurance Program (LPA) is the on-farm assurance program that underpins market access for Australian red meat.

You need to be accredited with LPA to access your National Vendor Declaration (NVD) which is necessary when moving livestock off your property. LPA and NVD’s provide evidence of your livestock history and on-farm practices when transferring livestock through the value chain.

There are seven program requirements of the LPA program, they are:

  1. Property risk assessment
  2. Safe and responsible animal treatments
  3. Stock foods, fodder, crops, grain and pasture treatments
  4. Preparation for dispatch of livestock
  5. Livestock transactions and movements
  6. Biosecurity
  7. Animal welfare.

Producers who participate should be committed to carrying out on-farm practices to support the integrity system. Register and learn more here: https://www.integritysystems.com.au/on-farm-assurance/livestock-product-assurance/

Before selling any cattle, each animal must have a National Livestock Identification System (NLIS) tag. NLIS ear tags are electronic tags that identify and trace an animal’s movements throughout its lifetime. The NLIS tag will be linked to your PIC on the database, which will be transfered when an animal is on your property see step 5.

Breeder tags are white and are to be used for home bred cattle, and orange post breeder tags for cattle no longer on their property of birth, or to introduced animals, or those that have lost their original tag.

Tags must be in the correct position, in the right (offside) ear. All cattle must only have one NLIS tag.

It is illegal to remove an NLIS tag.

The National Vendor Declaration (NVD) must be completed compliantly prior to movement of stock.

To complete a NVD compliantly:

  • The NVD is a legal document and must be completed and signed
  • All questions on the document must be answered to meet compliance
  • NVDs need to be used for the agistment property if you are moving or selling cattle from agistment.
  • It is illegal to make alterations to the pre-printed PIC in the NVD
  • You must keep a copy of your completed NVD for 7 years. This data is stored automatically when using the eNVD through the Integrity Systems Company.

Cattle producers are encouraged to use an Animal Health Declaration when selling livestock, and it is recommended that you request one when purchasing livestock.

This document requires cattle producers to declare health information about the animals you are purchasing, which can help a producer to make decisions for when these animal arrive on farm to manage their health risks.

Download Animal Health Declarations from the Farm Biosecurity website here

All cattle movements must be recorded on the NLIS database.

You will need to register for an NLIS account and retain the log in details to revisit the account.

Movements of cattle to and from saleyards, abattoirs or shows are done by saleyard and abattoir operators or show organisers.

It is a legal requirement that all other cattle movements between PICs are recorded in the NLIS database by the receiver of the cattle e.g. when buying cattle in a private sale or through an on-line auction.

Discuss with your Livestock Agent to find out if they can assist you to scan and record cattle movements.

Create an account here: https://nlis.com.au/Account/Create.

Sheep and Goats

All properties that have livestock must have a Property Identification Code (PIC).

You can register your PIC with PIRSA here: https://pir.sa.gov.au/biosecurity/animal_health/property_identification_code_pic

The Livestock Production Assurance Program (LPA) is the on-farm assurance program that underpins market access for Australian red meat.

You need to be accredited with LPA to access your National Vendor Declaration (NVD) which is necessary when moving livestock off your property. LPA and NVD’s provide evidence of your livestock history and on-farm practices when transferring livestock through the value chain.

There are seven program requirements of the LPA program, they are:

  1. Property risk assessment
  1. Safe and responsible animal treatments
  1. Stock foods, fodder, crops, grain and pasture treatments
  1. Preparation for dispatch of livestock
  1. Livestock transactions and movements
  1. Biosecurity
  1. Animal welfare.

Producers who participate should be committed to carrying out on-farm practices to support the integrity system. Register and learn more here: https://www.integritysystems.com.au/on-farm-assurance/livestock-product-assurance/

Before selling any stock, each animal must have a National Livestock Identification System (NLIS) tag. NLIS ear tags are electronic tags that identify and trace an animal’s movements throughout its lifetime. The NLIS tag will be linked to your PIC on the database when an animal is on your property.

Livestock without an ear tag must be tagged with a tag displaying your PIC. This excludes feral goats going direct to an abattoir or an approved goat depot

NLIS tagging requirements do not apply to rangeland goats that are going direct to slaughter within 6 weeks of capture

There are two types of NLIS tags:

1. Breeder tags are used to identify sheep and goats that remain on their property of birth. They can be any colour except pink.

It is recommended and most common that the coloured tags used are related to the year the animal was born.
There is an established and industry accepted colour coding system for tags according to the year:

  • 2018 – orange
  • 2019 – light green
  • 2020 – purple
  • 2021 – yellow
  • 2022 – red
  • 2023 – sky blue

2. Post breeder tags must be pink. These tags are used for sheep or goats that have moved from their property of birth and have lost their original tag, or in the instance that it is not practical to record the original PIC on the tag.

It is illegal to remove an NLIS tag

The National Vendor Declaration (NVD) must be completed compliantly prior to movement of stock.

To complete a NVD compliantly:

  1. The NVD is a legal document and must be completed and signed
  2. All questions on the document must be answered to meet compliance
  3. NVDs need to be used for the agistment property if you are moving or selling sheep or goats from agistment.
  4. It is illegal to make alterations to the pre-printed PIC in the NVD
  5. You must keep a copy of your completed NVD for 7 years. This happens automatically when using the eNVD.

In South Australia, the National Sheep Health Declaration is mandatory with every sheep or goat movement and is an offence not to provide one.

This is unlike cattle movements, and other states regulations, where these documents are recommended.

For South Australia, the National Sheep Health Declaration requires the owner/manager of animals to declare information about:

  • Ovine Johne’s diseases
  • Footrot
  • Lice

Failure to provide a National Sheep Health Declaration is an offence under the Livestock Act 1997 and can result in expiation notices and fines.

Download a National Sheep Health Declaration from the Farm Biosecurity website under the Biosecurity toolkit heading.

Download a National Goat Health Declaration from the Farm Biosecurity website under the Biosecurity toolkit heading.

All sheep and goat movements must be recorded on the NLIS database.

You will need to register for an NLIS account and retain the log in details to revisit the account.

Movements of sheep or goats to and from saleyards, abattoirs or shows are done by saleyard and abattoir operators or show organisers.

It is a legal requirement that all other sheep or goat movements between PICs are recorded in the NLIS database by the receiver of the sheep/goats e.g. when buying sheep or goats in a private sale or through an on-line auction.

Discuss with your Livestock Agent to find out if they can assist you to scan and record sheep or goat movements.

Create an account here: https://nlis.com.au/Account/Create.

Additional Support

A Livestock Agents role is to buy and sell Livestock on behalf of their clients and support some the steps above.

There are local Livestock Agents in most regions of South Australia, to find one you might ask your local rural reseller who is in the area or by undertaking a quick internet search to find a local agency.

These agents can support you through the buying and selling process.

The Department of Primary Industries and Regions (PIRSA) have staff that are dedicated to supporting producers through the process of buying and selling compliantly.

They also offer, Biosecurity planning through their One Biosecurity online tool. This is PIRSA’s state-wide approach to managing, protecting, and promoting South Australia’s strong biosecurity regime across its livestock industry. Find out about One Biosecurity here.

Find their contact details here.

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