Moving livestock in Western Australia

Page last updated: Tuesday, 14 March 2023 - 8:29am

Please note: This content may be out of date and is currently under review.

Under the Biosecurity and Agriculture Management (Identification and Movement of Stock and Apiaries) Regulations 2013 [BAM (IMSA) regulations], it is mandatory to provide appropriate documentation to accompany any livestock whenever they leave a property. This includes stock movements to the vet, showground, breeding centre or event.

This applies to stock that are dead or alive.

Some species are exempt from this requirement.

Depending on the destination and type of stock, appropriate documentation could include a plain waybill, a combined NVD/waybill, a PigPass NVD or a permit.

Documentation for moving livestock

The documentation must show where the movement commenced and finished, including the property identification code (PIC) of both properties. The owner/manager of the property the stock are leaving from must provide the waybill.

All of these must contain the same basic content:

  • unique serial number
  • owner’s name or registered trading name
  • PIC and physical address of the property where the journey began (PIC is pre-printed on NVD/waybill)
  • name of consignee and destination physical address
  • the PIC of the destination property
  • date of the movement
  • carrier’s details, signature and vehicle number plates
  • name and signature of the person completing the waybill
  • number and description of stock
  • the registered or approved identification on the stock:
    • cattle - the type/s of NLIS electronic device
    • sheep and goats - the brand on the current NLIS visual tag (associated with the PIC of the property they are leaving) should be written in the description table. Tags with a PIC should be identical to the PIC on the NVD. In these cases inclusion of the PIC in the description table is optional. If the PIC of the NLIS electronic tag is not the same as property of dispatch the details must be written in the description table.
    • sheep and goats – the PIC of the NLIS electronic tag if not the same as property of dispatch
    • If stock is travelling under permit without NLIS identification - the registered brand and/or earmark must be written in the desciption table.
    • all other livestock -  the registered or approved identification.

If recording the registered earmark, draw the earmark symbols or use the coded earmark index.

All entries on the waybill must be legible.

Property owners to provide documentation

It is the responsibility of the person who owns or manages the property from which the stock are leaving, not livestock carriers, to provide a waybill, NVD/waybill, PigPass NVD or permit. This may not be the owner of the stock when an on-farm sale has occurred.

For stock being moved from a saleyard, it is the responsibility of the saleyard operator to provide the waybill or equivalent.

The NVD or waybill must be completed in triplicate and all copies kept for seven years.

The original of the movement document must accompany the stock and be handed to the consignee or recipient of the stock at the destination. The carrier retains the first copy and the second copy remains with the consigning owner.

All people who own or manage livestock are required to have a current PIC to assist with disease and chemical residue traceability. There is a legal requirement for any person purchasing livestock to have a PIC for the property where they intend to keep the livestock.

Documentation exemption

Horses, donkeys and camels are exempt from this requirement unless they are being moved to an abattoir for slaughter for human consumption. Movement documentation is not required for ostriches. 

Moving stock between properties with the same PIC

If an owner is moving their stock between their properties listed under the one PIC, they can carry their PIC card or a full copy of it in place of writing out a waybill. The properties need to be listed on the card and the stock must be identified or registered to that PIC.

Plain waybills

Plain waybill books are available from the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) or can be downloaded from the following link: Download a waybill. For details of which offices please contact the Stock Brands office on 1300 926 547. They are used in particular circumstances when an NVD is not required, for example, transporting an animal to a veterinarian or an agricultural show, between properties owned by the same person or for species for which an NVD is not available – such as alpaca. Plain waybills contain space to record both consigning and destination PICs.

When livestock are being moved to a location for a short time and then all returned to the original property, a single waybill can be completed with the following - ‘to vet/showground and return’ etc. Both PICs still need to be recorded on the waybill.

NVD/waybills and PigPass NVDs

These documents record stock movements and provide additional information about the food safety and health status of the stock. They meet the legal requirement for a waybill. An NVD/waybill is required whenever livestock are moved for sale, export or slaughter.


NVD/waybill books are available by registering for the Livestock Production Assurance (LPA) program  run by Meat & Livestock Australia. They are to be used when moving cattle, buffalo, sheep or goats. They are supplied pre-printed with the owner's PIC. They do not have a specified area to write in the PIC of destination, however it should be written in next to the destination address. For any queries call 1800 683 111.

PigPass NVD

PigPass NVDs are available from or by phoning 1800 001 458.

Property Identification Code (PIC)

The PIC of any location registered by a stock owner or manager (including non-farming PICs such as saleyards, depots and abattoirs) can be found by looking up the Stock brand and PIC register. This is a handy address to keep in your favourites list. 

Instructions on how to search the database can be found on the Stock Brand and PIC Register search guide. 

Writing the PIC of places such as saleyards, abattoirs or export depots to which you regularly consign stock to on the front of your NVD/waybill book will save time and frustration later on, and will avoid delaying the truck driver while you find the correct PIC.


There are some circumstances where stock that do not have the correct identification need to be moved. In this case, a permit must be obtained from a DPIRD stock inspector. This permit allows movement to a place where the stock can be safely identified, movement for slaughter or movement for sale for slaughter only.

Dead animals

The requirement under the BAM (IMSA) regulations for all transported stock to travel with a waybill or equivalent includes animals that have died. This is important for complete traceability in disease management. The waybill must have both the PIC of the consigning property and the PIC of destination.

A dead animal is considered a whole animal or a body with head, hocks and guts removed.

If you take an entire dead animal from your farm to a rubbish tip, you need to complete a waybill as a record of disposal from your property. You can provide a copy of the waybill to the tip operator if present. Tips do not have a PIC, however the physical address should be recorded on the waybill.

A waybill is not required once an animal is considered a carcass, so disposal of remains after a post-mortem by a vet does not require a waybill. Post-mortem records and local disposal protocols would provide any details should they ever be needed. Movement of a carcass or meat cuts after butchering for food, including home-kills from the abattoir, do not need a waybill.

NLIS database recording

It is mandatory to record the movement of cattle, buffalo, sheep and goats onto a property with a different PIC on the National Livestock Identification System (NLIS) database. The movement of pigs is recorded on the PigPass database. The waybill, NVD/waybill, PigPass NVD or permit number is needed to complete the database transfers. All movements must be reported within 48 hours of the arrival at a new PIC.

Cattle and buffalo are transferred to the new PIC on the database using the details of their individual electronic device (eartag or bolus).

Sheep and goats can also have individual electronic identification, however the minimum requirement is to record a mob-based movement (MBM) of the total number of stock moved in the consignment.

Pigs are transferred to the new PIC on the database as a mob-based movement (MBM) of the total nunber of stock moved in the consignment.

Refer to the following pages for more detailed information on the NLIS and how to use the databases:

NLIS and identification – cattle and buffalo

NLIS and identification – sheep

NLIS and identificaton - goats

NLIS and identification - pigs

Movement between states and across disease control lines

There are specific requirements for bringing livestock into Western Australia and also for moving them across disease control lines, such as the tick line in the Kimberley.

See Importing livestock into Western Australia for more detailed information for these circumstances.

To transport stock across to or through other states, consult with the relevant state authority for their importing prerequisites.

Report suspicious activities 

Please report suspicious activities such as the illegal importation or sale of illegal animals or plants, or the keeping of exotic animals or birds to AgWatch for further investigation. 

Contact information

Brands Office
1300 926 547