Reminder on regulatory requirement for Territory cattle movement


The National Livestock Identification System (NLIS) tag is an Australia-wide system developed for the identification and tracing of livestock.

It is a regulatory requirement for cattle to be identified with an NLIS device prior to movement in the Northern Territory (NT).

All cattle that are born on your property are to be identified with a breeder (white) NLIS device prior to movement and those cattle that were not born on your property are to be identified with a post breeder (orange) device

The NLIS tag is a permanent whole-of-life identification system that enables individual animals to be traced from property of birth to slaughter for food safety, product integrity and market access purposes.  The NLIS is the main information system used throughout Australia to trace cattle in the event of an Emergency Animal Disease incident.

Travelling livestock are required to be accompanied by an NT Waybill. Under the regulations, a copy of the waybill must be sent to the Regional Livestock Biosecurity Officer within 28 days from date of issue.

With foot and mouth disease (FMD) and lumpy skin disease (LSD) both emerging threats to Australia, the Department of Industry Tourism and Trade’s Livestock Biosecurity Team is stepping up preparedness efforts as the diseases continue to spread through Asia.

Ensuring the Northern Territory maintains a high standard of traceability will be crucial in the event of an emergency animal disease response. The NLIS and the NT waybill will play an integral role in the tracing of livestock and individual animal identification for disease control measures such as collection of samples for testing, vaccination and slaughter.

These regulatory requirements are vitally important to underpin the credibility of the cattle industry and to provide traceability assurance to our key markets.

As the mustering season brings increased movement of cattle the importance of NLIS tagging and NT waybill reporting can’t be underestimated.

The manufacturers of NLIS tags are reporting supply delays of visual ID tags. To avoid costly disruptions and to maintain compliance, please ensure that your tag orders are placed as soon as possible to secure your tags prior to the proposed movement of livestock.

Please contact your Regional Livestock Biosecurity Officer if you have ordered NLIS devices and are experiencing significant delays.

  • Darwin Regional Livestock Biosecurity Officer – 08 8999 2034
  • Katherine Regional Livestock Biosecurity Officer – 08 8973 9767
  • Tennant Creek Regional Livestock Biosecurity Officer – 08 8962 4458
  • Alice Springs Regional Livestock Biosecurity Officer – 08 8951 8125

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