National Livestock Identification System

National Livestock Identification System (NLIS)

The National Livestock Identification System (NLIS) is Australia's system for the identification and traceability of cattle, sheep and goats. NLIS reflects Australia's commitment to biosecurity and food safety and provides a competitive advantage in a global market.

log in to NLIS

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The National Livestock Identification System (NLIS) is Australia's system for the identification and traceability of cattle, sheep and goats. NLIS reflects Australia's commitment to biosecurity and food safety and provides a competitive advantage in a global market.

log in to NLIS

How does the NLIS work?

The NLIS combines three elements to enable the lifetime traceability of animals:

1. All livestock are identified by a visual or electronic eartag/device.

2. All physical locations are identified by means of a Property Identification Code (PIC)

3. All livestock location data and movements are recorded in a central database

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How does the NLIS work?

Traceability through the supply chain

All animals are identified with an accredited NLIS tag or device from their property (PIC) of birth. As animals are bought, sold and moved along the supply chain, each movement is recorded centrally on the NLIS database. Using this information, the NLIS is able to provide a life history of an animal's movements.

NLIS Standards

NLIS is endorsed by major producer, feedlot, agent, saleyard and processor bodies. In addition to this, it is underpinned by State/Territory legislation, which forms the regulatory framework for the system, NLIS Ltd is ISO9001 certified.

Access the NLIS Standards 


Need NLIS Technical Support? 

If you're receiving warning emails, having issues with the NLIS database or are having trouble logging in, check out the support information available.

Read More


Early Warning Status 

Early Warning (EW) is a status within the National Livestock Identification System (NLIS) database that is automatically assigned to a property carrying a high-risk animal or animals.

The EW status helps monitor and manage food safety and biosecurity risk along the entire value chain.



NLIS Updates

Tools & Resources


You can register for an NLIS account here.


Once submitted, your account request will need to be approved. This process can take up to seven days. After your request is approved, you will receive your NLIS user ID and password via email.

You should contact your state department for agriculture about:

  • PIC registration
  • Ordering NLIS devices
  • Livestock movement requirements
  • NLIS compliance, including timeframes for completing transfers on the database

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

Find out more about record-keeping.

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.

All animals leaving a property (PIC) must be identified with an NLIS accredited device before moving unless a permit is obtained from the state or territory authority. More information on tagging requirements for cattle, sheep and goats is available on the ISC website.

You do not need to notify NLIS when you tag an animal on your property. The NLIS database does not distinguish between tags applied to your animals and tags that are still unused. All devices are automatically registered to your PIC by the tag manufacturer when they are issued to you.

It can be useful to keep your own records of what tags are used, when and in what animals. ISC recommends keeping a record of the tag numbers when purchased and to which animals they have been applied. Visual ID numbers are printed on the bag for easy recording.