Check for early warnings today

Check for early warnings today

09 May 2023
-Min Read
When it’s time to go to the saleyards, be aware of any high-risk animals by checking the NLIS database for an Early Warning status.
  • It is the responsibility of everyone within the supply chain to be aware and transparent about the health or food safety status of livestock.
  • State and territory governments can assign a status to livestock in the NLIS Database where a notifiable disease or contamination risk has occurred.
  • An Early Warning status within the NLIS Database communicates this risk to buyers of livestock through the Extended Residue Program (ERP) report.


Producer at a saleyard looking at mobile phone

When livestock are sold, providing real time information to the purchaser regarding contamination from diseases, chemicals or physical contaminants is critical for food safety.

It is the responsibility of everyone selling livestock to be transparent about their health and food safety status by making complete and accurate declarations on their Livestock Production Assurance (LPA) National Vendor Declarations (LPA NVDs). Where a state or territory government confirms a contamination or diagnoses a notifiable animal disease, they apply a status to individual livestock within the National Livestock Identification System (NLIS) Database and the Early Warning (EW) status is a way the database communicates this risk to buyers.

Early Warning statuses

When an ERP report is run in the NLIS database on a property identification code (PIC), the database will check the PIC for devices that are assigned a status. If the livestock have a status assigned the result will show as an Early Warning (EW). Examples of statuses applied to livestock in the NLIS database include those which identify contamination with lead, Johne’s disease, and restricted animal material (RAM).

The EW status does not identify what the status is for, or which specific animals have the status. However, it does help inform food safety and biosecurity risk along the supply chain. The EW is notified to any user searching PICs before purchase, providing information that contamination may be present within the consignment coming from that PIC.

When sales occur, it is the vendor’s responsibility to disclose any risk associated with animals for sale in a particular consignment. However, as a buyer, it is your responsibility to assess any risks associated with the purchase of livestock. You must ask the vendor or agent to confirm any high-risk animals and determine whether you will accept those risks.

Check the NLIS database

To ensure they are aware of any high-risk animals in a particular consignment prior to purchase, buyers should follow these steps:

1. Login to the database at

2. Navigate to the drop-down menu titled What do you want to do today?.

3. Under the blue Reports heading, select the View/generate all reports > Go 

View or generate all reports - NLIS screenshot

4. Under the blue ERP heading, select the ERP PIC status

What do you want to do today - NLIS screenshot

5. Enter the PIC number and select Go.

6. View the program code, status code and status code description fields to view ERP PIC information.

View report details - NLIS screenshot

The default output type is ‘On-screen’. Ignore this field unless you want the results by XML or e-mail. If there is too much data to display, you will get a message to View large report results.

Type the PIC(s) in this field and press the Enter key after each one to start a new line for the next PIC. Alternatively, paste in an electronic list of PICs copied to your clipboard.

Producers and third parties can run this report for any PIC.

To search for specific items, click Filter by, follow steps 1 and 2 on the Filter screen and click Apply.

To view the list on one page, select All items per page.

If the report or catalogue highlights that the PIC has a device/s registered with a status of interest, buyers should check with the vendor or agent to find out:

  • if the high-risk animal is in the consignment
  • what the status is for.

The buyer can then make an informed decision about the level of risk associated with the consignment, if any, and whether to buy the livestock, and how to manage them.

How to confirm a consignment does not include high-risk animals

Saleyard operators can view the NLIS database to confirm if any individual animals within a consignment present a high risk. Following pre-sale scanning, or if the vendor provides a list of NLIS tag numbers, the saleyard operator can check the device status for individual animals using the NLIS database.

Make sure you speak to your saleyard operators, agents and vendors to determine the health status of livestock you are looking to purchase. Once they are purchased, the buyer will become responsible for the health of the livestock, including future updates of the NLIS database and declarations on NVDs. With this information through the supply? chain, we can ensure the safety of our red meat products to our consumers and stand by what we sell.

For more information or assistance: