Moving livestock in Western Australia

Page last updated: Wednesday, 8 August 2018 - 4:24pm

Please note: This content may be out of date and is currently under review.

Whenever livestock leave a property, movement documentation must be provided. A waybill, a combined National Vendor Declaration (NVD) waybill or permit must show where the movement commenced and finished, including the property identification code (PIC) of both properties.

• must have both the PIC of consignment and PIC of destination
• are required to take stock to the vet, showground, breeding centre or event
• are required when moving dead stock off the property.

The owner/manager of the property the stock are leaving from must provide the waybill.

Documentation for moving livestock

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 applies to stock that are dead or alive.

Horses are exempt from this requirement.

Depending on the destination and type of stock, appropriate documentation could include a plain waybill, an NVD/waybill, a PigPass NVD or a permit. 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 PIC on the NVD. Inclusion of the PIC in the description table is optional
    • sheep and goats – the PIC of the NLIS electronic tag if not the same as property of dispatch
    • cattle, sheep or goats are travelling under permit without NLIS identification - the registered brand and/or earmark on the stock
    • 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 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.

The requirement to include both PIC of consignment and PIC of destination was implemented in May 2013.

This has been introduced because 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.

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 Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) district offices or can be downloaded from the following link: Download a waybill. 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

An NVD/waybill is a combined form that records stock movements and provides additional information about the food safety and health status of the stock. It meets the legal requirement for a waybill. An NVD/waybill is required whenever livestock are moved for sale, export or slaughter.

The NVD/waybill books issued through the Livestock Production Assurance (LPA) program do not yet have a specified area to write in the PIC of destination, however it should be written in next to the destination address.

NVD/waybills are available by registering for the LPA program via the website or by phoning 1800 683 111. NVD/waybills are supplied pre-printed with the owner’s PIC. PigPass NVDs are available from or by phoning 1800 001 458.

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. It can also be accessed from most mobile phones with internet access.

Simply search by trading name or property name and use the ‘%’ as a wild card if you are unsure of the exact name. For example, to search for J.O & E. Bloggs Pastoral Pty Ltd, type in %Bloggs% and all similar trading names will appear. The PIC will be displayed after clicking on the relevant ‘brand’ (highlighted in green) of the correct name.

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 DAFWA 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.

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.

However, if you take an entire dead animal from your farm to a rubbish tip, you do 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.

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. 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. The waybill, NVD/waybill or permit number is needed to complete the database transfers.

See NLIS and identification – cattle and buffalo and NLIS and identification – sheep for more detailed information on the NLIS and how to use the database.

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.

Contact information

Beth Green
+61 (0)8 9780 6159