Livestock ownership, identification and movement in Western Australia

Page last updated: Friday, 7 September 2018 - 10:01am

Western Australia (WA) has a mandatory livestock ownership, identification and movement system. All livestock owners and beekeepers within WA must be registered and their stock identified in accordance with the Biosecurity and Agriculture Management (Identification and Movement of Stock and Apiaries) Regulations 2013 [the BAM (IMSA) regulations].

Livestock includes animals kept as pets.

Stock traceability is essential to maintain access to export markets and for food safety. It allows stock to be traced for disease or residue purposes and deters stock theft.

Livestock ownership

The following animals are considered livestock under the BAM (IMSA) regulations:

  • cattle
  • buffalo
  • sheep
  • goats
  • pigs
  • horses (ponies, donkeys, hybrids)
  • deer
  • South American camelids (alpaca, llama,vicuna)
  • ostrich*

* Ostrich owners need only to register if they own other types of livestock, or if they wish to identify their ostriches with a registered identifier.

Owners to be registered

People with any livestock and/or bees in WA must be registered as owners of livestock with the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) Brands Office. On registration, a property identification code (PIC) will be allocated to the owner to indicate who owns the animals and where they are kept. A PIC card is issued that lists the properties that the owner has nominated to run stock on and the registered identifiers for use with stock, namely their stock brand, earmark and pig tattoo.

Detailed information on the procedure and requirements is available on Registering as an owner of stock or as a beekeeper. The page also describes how to register as a manager of a non-farming property (for example commercial feedlot, transit depot, showground, vet clinic) and to transfer, cancel or update property, address and trading details of existing registrations and identifiers.

To register, forward a completed Application for registration as an owner of stock or Application for registration as a beekeeper to the Brands Office.

Stock Brand and PIC Register

All registered owners, PICs and stock brands in WA are recorded in the Stock Brand and PIC Register. Detailed instructions for searching the register and how to look for available stock brands are in the Stock Brand and PIC Register search guide.

Identification

Identification of livestock is required by law to assist owners by deterring theft, recovering stolen animals and in tracing disease.

There are three types of stock identification

  • Registered identifiers
  • Approved identifiers
  • National Livestock Identification System (NLIS) identifiers

Registered identifiers

DPIRD Brands Office issues the Registered Identifiers. Each species has an identification requirement consisting of a stock brand, earmark or tattoo and an age by which time stock should be identified.

Approved Identifiers

A preferred type of identifier recognised by a particular body, including a breed society may be approved on application. Approved identifiers replace registered identifiers. See Approved identifiers for livestock for more information.

NLIS identifiers

The NLIS is a permanent, whole-of-life identification system that enables animals to be tracked from property of birth to slaughter or export. NLIS identification and tracing requirements differ according to the species. Cattle, buffalo, sheep, goats and pigs are identified under this system.

NLIS and identification - Cattle and Buffalo

Cattle and buffalo must have a registered identifier (brand and/or earmark) and a NLIS electronic device. The device enables individual cattle or buffalo to be tracked from property of birth to slaughter or export. All movements off property require a waybill or equivalent movement document, and if to a different PIC, be recorded in the national NLIS database.

More information can be obtained by contacting the helpdesk.

WA Cattle NLIS Helpdesk

T: +61 (0)8 9780 6222
M: +61 (0)427 089 860
E: nlis.cattle@dpird.wa.gov.au

NLIS and identification - Sheep

Sheep must have a registered identifier (earmark) and a NLIS tag with either the brand or PIC of the owner displayed. This allows for mob-based traceability using visually readable ear tags or individual identification and traceability with NLIS electronic devices. All movements of sheep off property require a waybill or equivalent movement document, and if to a different PIC, be recorded on the national NLIS database.

NLIS and identification - Goats

Goats must have a NLIS tag with either the brand or PIC displayed and may have a registered identifier (earmark). This allows for mob-based traceability using visually readable ear tags or individual identification and traceability with NLIS electronic devices. All movements of goats off property require a waybill or equivalent movement document, and if to a different PIC, be recorded on the national NLIS database.

NLIS and identification - Pigs

Pigs must have a registered identifier as a tattoo or an NLIS tag with the PIC displayed prior to being moved. This allows for mob-based traceability using visually readable ear tags or a slap brand tattoo, depending on the weight of the pigs. All movements of pigs off property require a waybill or equivalent movement document, and if to a different PIC, be recorded on the PigPass database which automatically updates the NLIS database.

Non-NLIS livestock  

The following livestock do not have NLIS identification requirements and are to be identified as follows.

Horses

Horses are identified by a registered identifier applied as a brand or an approved identifier which includes a microchip. Movements of horses off property do not require a waybill or equivalent movement document unless it is being moved to an abattoir for slaughter for human consumption.

Deer and South American Camelids 

Deer and South American Camelids are identified by a registered identifier (brand and/or earmark) or an approved identifier. Movements off property require a waybill or equivalent movement document.

Ostriches 

Nothing in the regulations requires a person to identify an ostrich. An ostrich may be identified by a registered identifier applied as a brand on an approved neck tag or an approved leg band or an approved identifier. Movements of ostriches off property do not require a waybill or equivalent movement document.

Livestock movement

Moving livestock in Western Australia

Whenever livestock are moved off a property, livestock movement documentation is required. A waybill, national vendor declaration (NVD)/waybill, pig pass or equivalent must accompany all movements of livestock (except horses and ostriches) whenever they leave a property.

Additionally, transporting stock across disease management lines requires specific protocols to be followed.

For tick line enquiries call 9363 4127 or 0427 712 922

For Bluetongue line enquiries call 9651 0534 or 0427 420 176

When is a waybill not required?

A waybill is not required when moving stock between properties with the same PIC, if the stock is accompanied by your current PIC card or a full copy of it (showing both sides). Your card must list the properties registered to that PIC and stock being moved need to be identified or registered to that PIC. 

Livestock movement into and out of Western Australia

Control measures, requirements, procedures and protocols are prescribed for the controlled and recorded movement of all livestock entering and leaving WA.

For importing livestock from overseas and other Australian states and territories, see Importing livestock into Western Australia. For livestock movement to other Australian states and territories, consult with the importing state.

Non-farming (supply chain) property operator

There are specific protocols for operators of:

  • saleyards
  • abattoirs
  • export depots
  • holding or transit yards
  • pounds
  • feedlots
  • showgrounds and event locations
  • vet clinics

For more information contact DPIRD on 1300 WA NLIS (1300 926 547) or email nlis@dpird.wa.gov.au

Contact information

Livestock ownership, identification and traceability
1300 926 547