The Department of Agriculture and Food, Western Australia’s Livestock Biosecurity Program is part of the national animal health framework that underpins and enhances Australia’s and Western Australia’s (WA) market access for animals and animal products.

NLIS Sheep: Sheep in Western Australia are required to be identified with an earmark and a National Livestock Identification System (NLIS) approved tag with either the brand or property identification code (PIC) of the current owner.

Identifying sheep correctly maintains the traceability and biosecurity of WA’s sheep flock and supports our live sheep export trade, valued at $188 million annually.

On the property of birth, identify sheep with an NLIS year-of-birth coloured tag. Introduced sheep require an NLIS pink tag. Sheep movements must be recorded on the NLIS database.

NLIS Cattle: All cattle owners must be registered and have a current property identification code (PIC) (refer to Registering as an owner of stock or as a beekeeper). Your registered identifiers — stock brand and earmark — are on your PIC card.

Cattle must be branded or earmarked as described on your PIC card:

  • South west land division — brand or earmark by six months of age or before being removed from the property, whichever occurs first
  • Pastoral areas — brand or earmark by 18 months of age or before being removed from the property, whichever occurs first
  • All cattle and buffalo require a functioning NLIS electronic device before leaving the property, regardless of age.

NLIS identification can be either an accredited electronic device fitted to the ear or a rumen bolus, which is inserted into the reticulum. The bolus comes with an ear tag to indicate its presence. (See page link to NLIS accredited devices). Please note the following:

An NLIS ear device or rumen bolus tag is always fitted to the animal’s right ear.

A white (breeder) device should be fitted to cattle before moving from their property of birth.

An orange (post-breeder) device should be fitted to cattle without an existing NLIS device when leaving a property other than where they were born.

Only one device is required as ownership/location changes are recorded on the database.

For more information visit the website here: WA Department of Primary Industries

Useful Information?

Here are some useful links we’ve gathered together when frequently asked Please click on any link below. If you’ve any suggestions for other useful information we should provide here we’d always like to hear from you. Please email me directly brad@4tags.com. Thank you.

Keeping WA's Livestock fit to trade.