Approved identifiers for livestock

Page last updated: Wednesday, 12 April 2023 - 8:39am

Please note: This content may be out of date and is currently under review.

All livestock in Western Australia must be correctly identified according to species. Correct identification is a vital part of our biosecurity systems to assure trading partners that we can effectively trace and manage livestock disease outbreaks and chemical residue detections.

There are two types of identification — registered (stock brand, earmark, pig tattoo) and approved (e.g. brand, microchip, brass tag).

Approved identifiers

Any organisation or recognised group in WA such as a breed society that has a preferred system for identifying animals registered to it may apply to have that system accepted as an 'approved identifier' under section 43 of the Biosecurity and Agriculture Management (Identification and Movement of Stock and Apiaries) Regulations 2013. Members of these organisations may use the approved identifier to identify their animals instead of using their registered identifiers (registered stock brand, earmark or pig tattoo).

Note that these owners must still be registered as an owner of stock with the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) and also meet any National Livestock Identification System (NLIS) identification requirements.

A microchip is now recognised as an approved identifier for any horse that does not belong to a breed society or recognised organisation. Conditions for registering the microchips are explained below.

See also Livestock ownership, identification and movement in Western Australia.

Approval process

Any organisations wishing to have their identification system approved can apply to DPIRD:

Registrar of Stock and Apiaries
Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development
PO Box 1231
Bunbury WA 6231

Applications must include details of:

  • the type of identifier — for example brand, microchip, ID number
  • the database that contains details relating to that animal — for example, the database organisation and contact details
  • the requirements for owners to update details when an animal is sold
  • the procedure for a DPIRD stock inspector to determine ownership of the animal from the identifier.

Currently approved identifiers


Animals: Thoroughbred horses

Organisation: Racing and Wagering WA
Identification system: DPIRD registered stock brand, microchip — recorded by Australian Stud Book and Registrar of Racehorses
Database contact:
Racing Services (08) 9445 5558 –
Visit Racing Australia

Animals: Standardbred horses

Organisation: Racing and Wagering WA
Identification system: Breed society freeze brand, microchip, may have DPIRD registered stock brand. Microchip recorded in national database (HaRVEY)
Database contact:
Racing Services (08) 9445 5558 –
Visit Australian Harness Racing

Animals: Warmblood horses

Organisation: Australian Warmblood Horse Association
Identification system: DPIRD registered stock brand and/or microchip — recorded in the Association's database
Database contact:
Silvia Ahamer, Federal Registrar, +61(0)2 4884 4143
Visit Australian Warmblood

Animals: Shire horses

Organisation: Shire Horse Society
Identification system: sketch, DNA test and microchip. Microchip recorded in Central Animal Records (CAR) database. Society keeps a record of microchip numbers as well.
Database contact:
Helen Kuiper +61 (0)428 424 478
Visit Shire Horse Society

Animals: Friesian horses

Organisation: Australian Friesian Horse Society (Previously the Australian and New Zealand Friesian Horse Society)
Identification system: DNA test and microchip
Database contact:
Carina Jefferson +61 (0)412 830 780, email:

Organisation: Friesian Sporthorse Association
Identification system: microchip
Database contact:
Tashlin Jeffries +61 (0)417 977 635, email: or 
FSA Head Office in USA
Visit Friesian Sporthorse Association

All other horses

Horses that are not registered with any breed society or equine association can now be identified with a microchip if the owner has the number registered with any of the five following commercial animal microchip databases. In WA, microchips must be inserted by a vet.

Animals: horses

Organisation: Australasian Animal Registry (AAR)
Identification: microchip
Database contact:            
+61 (0)2 9704 1450
Visit Australasian Animal Registry (AAR)

Organisation: Central Animal Records (CAR)
Identification: microchip
Database contact:               
+61 (0)3 9706 3187
Visit Central Animal Records (CAR)

Organisation: Homesafe ID
Identification: microchip
Database contact:
1300 537 140
Visit Homesafe ID

Organisation: Petsafe
Identification: microchip
Database contact:
+61 (0)2 8850 6800
Visit Petsafe

Organisation: Global Micro Animal Registry
Identification: microchip
Database contact:
+61 (0)2 8338 9063
Visit Global Micro


Animals: pigs

Organisation: Australian Pig Breeders’ Association
Identification system: ear tattoo or ear tag
Database contact:
Livestock and Business Centre, Kiama NSW +61 (0)2 4232 3333
Visit Australian Pig Breeders' Association

South American Camelids

Animals: alpaca

Organisation: Australian Alpaca Association
Identification system: breed society brass eartag with AAA number
Database contact:
Len Baxter, WA President AAA, +61 (0)8 9574 7028
Visit Australian Alpaca Association

Organisation: Australasian Alpaca Breeders’ Association
Identification system: breed society plastic eartag with PIC and animal number
Database contact:
+61 (0)481 337 222, email:
Visit Australasian Alpaca Breeders’ Association


Note: 'Approved identifiers' include an NLIS device, and replace the use of the registered earmark and/or brand. 'Approved identifiers' (including the NLIS device) must be applied before the animal is 6 months old, weaned, or moved off the property, whichever occurs first.

Animals: Angus cattle

Organisation: Angus Society of Australia
Identification system: any two of — ear tattoo or approved brand and an NLIS device
Database contact:
Natalie Raynor +61 (0)8 6263 3100, email:
Visit Angus Australia

Animals: Murray Grey cattle

Organisation: Murray Grey Beef Cattle Society of Western Australia
Identification system: breed society ear tattoo and an NLIS device
Database contact:
Julie Buller, WA Secretary, +61 (0)8 9758 5531, email:
Visit Murray Grey Beef Cattle Society

Animals: Dexter cattle

Organisation: Dexter Cattle Promotional Group of Western Australia - DCAI (Previously the Dexter Group of WA)
Identification system: NLIS device
Database contact:
Patricia Cabassi, President,  +61 (0)411 435 283
Visit  Dexter Cattle Promotional Group

Animals: Hereford cattle

Organisation: Herefords Australia
Identification system: ear tattoo and an NLIS device
Database contact:
Andrew Donoghue, General Manager +61 (0)2 6772 1399
Visit Herefords Australia

Animals: Highland cattle

Organisation: Australian Highland Cattle Society (AHCS)
Identification system: AHCS tattoo in left ear and NLIS device in right ear.
Cattle bred by an AHCS member have approval to be identified with:
Left ear: AHCS member 3-character prefix on top line and birth year and calf drop on second line
Right ear: NLIS device by 6 months of age or prior to leaving the property, whichever occurs first.

Database contact:
Ms Jeanette Rawlings, President,  +61 (0)414 877 162
President, Australian Highland Cattle Society Inc.
email: /
Visit Australian Highland Cattle Society Inc




Contact information

Livestock ownership, identification and traceability
1300 926 547