Buying, selling, moving livestock

Buying, Selling and Moving Livestock

Each time livestock are moved off a PIC, a livestock movement must be recorded on the NLIS Database.

The information required to record a livestock movement varies depending on where the animals have moved from and to, and on the type of identification attached to the livestock. 

Recording livestock movements on the NLIS Database

  • If livestock are bought, sold or moved through a saleyard, the livestock movement must be recorded by the saleyard.
  • For private sales (i.e. sales and movements that do not take place via a saleyard), the buyer/receiver of the livestock must record the livestock movement.
  • The vendor/sender of the livestock is not obligated to record the movement off their property, although they may do so.
  • Abattoirs must record movements for all directly consigned livestock.

It is good practice to check all movement records to and from your PIC on the NLIS database, (especially those completed by a third party) to make sure the details are correct such as the ‘from’ and ‘to’ PICs and the total number of livestock transferred. 

Completing a PIC reconciliation annually is a recommended action for all LPA accredited producers, as NLIS records/transfers are included in LPA audits.  A PIC reconciliation allows transfer discrepancies to be identified and corrected.

For information on the timeframe in which livestock movements should be recorded on the NLIS, please contact your state/territory NLIS authority.

Access state and territory information for: obtaining a PIC, ordering NLIS devices, clarifying livestock movement and NLIS compliance requirements.

Variation between states and territories requires producers to be aware of what applies in their situation, especially when moving livestock across borders.

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FAQs

How to record livestock movements

The information required to record a livestock movement on the NLIS database will vary according to the origin and destination of the movement, and the type of identification tags attached to the livestock.

Livestock movements with electronic tags – or RFID tags – should be recorded using the Livestock moved onto/off my property function. Livestock movements with visual tags should be recorded using the mob-based movement onto/off my property function.

 

Who is responsible for movements?

If livestock are bought, sold or moved through a saleyard, the livestock movement must be recorded by the saleyard. For private sales – those that do not take place via a saleyard – the buyer/receiver of the livestock must record the livestock movement onto their property.

The vendor/sender of the livestock is not obligated to record the movement off their property, although they are encouraged to do so. They should check the movement has been made by the buyer/receiver.

Industry representative bodies have decided it is the buyer/receiver who makes the transfer and this has been legislated in each state.

 

Buying through an agent

If you buy stock privately through an agent, it is your responsibility as the receiver of stock to make sure the transfer is completed. While you can do it yourself, or ask your agent to do it for you, ISC recommends you clarify who will do it when the sale is made. You should ask for the Upload ID as a receipt to show it has been done if your agent completes the transfer. This Upload ID can be written on the NVD waybill that the stock arrive with – making it easy to check later and to show an LPA auditor.

 

Accidental sales or transfers

If livestock are accidentally sold by another producer and this is recorded on the NLIS database to your PIC, then this will generate a ‘system transfer’ warning. This is an automated warning from the database that notifies the PIC holder that an animal registered on their PIC has been moved off to another PIC. You will need to have an NLIS database account to receive the email notifications/warnings.

 

Read more about warning emails.

If the property where animals are being moved to for agistment has a different PIC then the movement must be registered as a transfer on the NLIS database. The producer receiving the animals should transfer them onto their PIC . The owner of the animals should check this has been completed and should move the stock back onto their own PIC when or if they return. 

If you have livestock on agistment, in some states you can request to link the agistment PIC to your existing NLIS account. A third-party authorisation form will need to be completed and returned to ISC to achieve this. To access this form, call the ISC Customer Service Centre on 1800 683 111 or email support@integritysystems.com.au.  

However, in WA, if you put livestock on agistment you will need to apply for another PIC for that property.  It's important to check the requirements for your state. 

To meet LPA requirements, the owner of the animals will need to provide an Animal Health Declaration and NVD to the landowner at the agistment property. Landowners need to keep the NVD for a minimum of three years, for the duration of livestock on the property or according to the state’s requirements – whichever is longer. 

For more information on meeting LPA requirements for agistment, download the ISC fact sheet.

If the buyer does not perform the transfer, please contact them and ask them to do it. They should have the NVD from you with all the details to do it. You could also ask your agent to do it. Otherwise, you can do it yourself, but talk to your agent and buyer first to ensure they have not.

If the transfer is not recorded then lifetime traceability can be lost. The NLIS database automates animal movements so when an animal has missed a transfer the database knows that transfer has not been completed and therefore it loses lifetime traceability. In markets like China and the EU, which require lifetime traceability, animals not transferred on the database would not be eligible.

As a seller, it is imperative that you check the transfer has occurred. Make sure processors are completing that transfer as well so it aligns with your records.

How to record livestock movements

The information required to record a livestock movement on the NLIS database will vary according to the origin and destination of the movement, and the type of identification tags attached to the livestock.

Livestock movements with electronic tags – or RFID tags – should be recorded using the Livestock moved onto/off my property function. Livestock movements with visual tags should be recorded using the mob-based movement onto/off my property function.

 

Who is responsible for movements?

If livestock are bought, sold or moved through a saleyard, the livestock movement must be recorded by the saleyard. For private sales – those that do not take place via a saleyard – the buyer/receiver of the livestock must record the livestock movement onto their property.

The vendor/sender of the livestock is not obligated to record the movement off their property, although they are encouraged to do so. They should check the movement has been made by the buyer/receiver.

Industry representative bodies have decided it is the buyer/receiver who makes the transfer and this has been legislated in each state.

 

Buying through an agent

If you buy stock privately through an agent, it is your responsibility as the receiver of stock to make sure the transfer is completed. While you can do it yourself, or ask your agent to do it for you, ISC recommends you clarify who will do it when the sale is made. You should ask for the Upload ID as a receipt to show it has been done if your agent completes the transfer. This Upload ID can be written on the NVD waybill that the stock arrive with – making it easy to check later and to show an LPA auditor.

 

Accidental sales or transfers

If livestock are accidentally sold by another producer and this is recorded on the NLIS database to your PIC, then this will generate a ‘system transfer’ warning. This is an automated warning from the database that notifies the PIC holder that an animal registered on their PIC has been moved off to another PIC. You will need to have an NLIS database account to receive the email notifications/warnings.

 

Read more about warning emails.

You must ensure you receive and keep copies of LPA NVDs for all livestock transferred onto your PIC.  If you have misplaced or lost a copy of an LPA NVD then please contact the sender of the livestock and request a replacement copy. It is a requirement that a copy of the NVD is obtained as these records are checked as part of LPA auditing.

For EU-accredited cattle, failure to enter a European Union Vendor Declaration (EUVD) number will result in the animals losing their EU accreditation.

For sheep and goats with a visual tag, you will not be able to complete your mob-based movement on the database without an NVD/Waybill serial number.

If you receive an animal without a tag, you should apply a post-breeder tag. These are orange for cattle and pink for sheep and goats.

The animal will no longer have lifetime traceability. However, if you know the number of the tag that was lost, it can be linked to the replacement ‘post-breeder’ tag in the NLIS database. Linking the lost tag and the replacement tag will retain the animal’s lifetime traceability.

Refer to the Replaced tags transaction (RFID tags) Tech Tip for more information.

If cattle lose a tag, they can also lose their lifetime traceability. All cattle must be tagged with a white coloured breeder tag before leaving their property of birth, and in addition:

  • If an animal loses its tag while still on the property of birth, it will need to have another white breeder tag applied. The animal will maintain its lifetime traceability regardless. If the number of the old tag is known, then a replacement can be done in the NLIS database to link the original tag to the replacement tag. Refer to the Replaced tags transaction (RFID tags) Tech Tip.
  • If an animal loses its tag after it has left the property of birth, it will need to have an orange post-breeder tag applied. If the number of the old tag is known, then a replacement should be done in the NLIS database. The animal will then maintain its lifetime traceability.

If an animal loses its tag after it has left the property of birth, it will need to have a new orange post-breeder tag applied. If the number of the original tag is not known and cannot be linked to the replacement tag, then the animal will lose its lifetime traceability.

Refer to the Lifetime traceability – reasons for loss tech tip for more information.

Hobby farmers who are accredited through LPA will need to keep all the same records as primary producers.

Find out more about record-keeping.

You can use either visual NLIS ID numbers or electronic RFID numbers to record a livestock movement.

Livestock movements with RFID tags should be recorded using the Livestock moved onto/off my property function. Livestock movements with visual tags should be recorded using the Mob-based movement onto/off my property function.

If you have incorrectly recorded a livestock movement, you may be able to delete or correct it, depending on the circumstances of the movement. Refer to the Transfer correction Tech Tip for more information.

When you move your stock to the new property you must transfer all the stock from your current PIC to the new PIC on the NLIS database. This will mean scanning cattle RFID tags and transferring them individually on the database. Sheep and/or goats with visual tags are moved as mobs.

An NVD for the current property for all cattle and sheep consignments must also be filled out when the stock are moved to the new property. If the property is in NSW, you will also need to update your details with Local Land Services.

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