Traceability

Animal Health Australia (AHA) participates in the advisory and standards committees for the National Livestock Identification System (NLIS) programs to ensure national consistency in defining, developing, promoting and deploying the various species-based approaches.

How the NLIS works

NLIS is Australia’s system for the permanent identification and lifetime traceability of livestock. It brings together three very simple concepts:

  • identification of a physical location for the animal—known as the ‘property identification code’ (PIC)
  • an animal identifier—a visual or electronic tag or brand, known as a ‘device’
  • a method of correlation and storage—a web-based database.

The NLIS is designed to record device and PIC statuses and to track devices and corresponding livestock movements for disease control, biosecurity, food safety, market access and other industry related purposes.

Livestock can be identified either individually or by mob, depending on what is agreed by each industry sector.

Governance of NLIS

Policy making

NLIS is a program of SAFEMEAT—the industry–government partnership responsible for meat safety. Industry and government work together to develop policy and make decisions that are in the best interest of all parties.

Legislation

State and territory governments have a role in controlling stock disease and residues under the various state or territory Stock Disease Acts and related legislation. Any regulatory requirements associated with the NLIS would be incorporated into these Acts and their implementation is the responsibility of the state and territory authorities.

Service delivery

Meat & Livestock Australia Limited (MLA) established the Integrity Systems Company (ISC) as a wholly owned subsidiary company to administer the NLIS database. ISC plays a crucial role in providing information tools, training and technical support designed to assist users better understand and get the most out of the NLIS for cattle, sheep and goats.

Australian Pork Limited (APL) has been instructed by industry to administer the pig system. APL drives the design and implementation of tools required for the smooth uptake of NLIS (pigs).

The Australian Alpaca Association is responsible for developing and implementing NLIS (South American Camelids). It has kept other industry groups (Llama Association of Australia, Australasian Alpaca Breeders Association) involved in the development of the new system.

How AHA is involved

AHA helps to define, develop, promote and deploy Australia’s NLIS programs to ensure national consistency.

AHA participates on the NLIS advisory and standards committees and keeps its members well informed.

As part of our role, we:

  • actively encourage other industry members to adopt national identification and traceability schemes for their livestock
    contribute to the definition, development and deployment of these schemes
  • ensure mandatory livestock identification and traceability is a priority for the animal health system
  • communicate the importance of effective livestock identification and tracing systems to all stakeholders.

AHA is strongly committed to the implementation of mandatory animal identification and traceability schemes in the Australian livestock industries. We believe that a robust, mandatory animal identification and traceability system is essential to the achievement of the national animal health objectives.

Appropriate animal identification and traceability schemes offer benefits to animal health management at enterprise, industry, state and national levels.

To serve the national interest and deliver the available benefits, animal identification and traceability schemes must:

  • be nationally uniform for each livestock species
  • use a risk-based approach to deliver traceability and identification objectives
  • ensure timely delivery of required animal movement information
  • have their performance assessed against the National Livestock Traceability Performance Standards.

National Livestock Traceability Performance Standards

About

Animal Health Australia (AHA) undertakes regular audits of the National Livestock Traceability Performance Standards as a process for the continual improvement of the various National Livestock Identification Scheme (NLIS) programs.

Endorsed by the Primary Industries Ministerial Council (PIMC) in May 2004, the performance standards are a result of consultation with state and territory technical advisors and industry experts. It is envisaged that all states and territories and industry systems will aim to meet these standards.

Applicable to all FMD susceptible livestock species

1.1— Within 24 hours of the relevant CVO2 being notified3, it must be possible to determine the location(s)4 where a specified animal was resident during the previous 30 days.

1.2— Within 24 hours it must be also possible to determine the location(s)4 where all susceptible animals that resided concurrently and/or subsequently on any of the properties on which a specified animal has resided in the past 30 days.

Applicable to cattle only

2.1—Within 48 hours of the relevant CVO2 being notified3, it must be possible to establish the location(s)4 where a specified animal has been resident during its life.

2.2— Within 48 hours of the relevant CVO2 being notified3, it must be possible to establish a listing of all cattle that have lived on the same property as the specified animal at any stage during those animals’ lives.

2.3—Within 48 hours of the relevant CVO2 being notified3, it must also be possible to determine the current location4 of all cattle that resided on the same property as the specified animal at any time during those animals’ lives.

Applicable to all FMD susceptible livestock species except cattle (lifetime traceability excluding the preceding 30 days—addressed by 1.1 and 1.2 above)

3.1—Within 14 days of the relevant CVO2 being notified3, it must be possible to determine all locations4 where a specified animal has been resident during its life.

3.2—Within 21 days of the relevant CVO2 being notified3, it must also be possible to determine the location4 of all susceptible animals that resided concurrently with a specified animal at any time during the specified animal’s life.

Notes

  1. For the purposes of these standards, ‘FMD-susceptible species’ means cattle, sheep, goats, and domesticated buffalo, deer, pigs, camels and camelids.
  2. ‘The relevant CVO’ means the state or territory Chief Veterinary Officer, or their delegate, in the jurisdiction where the specified animal is located or has been traced to.
  3. For the purposes of these standards, the term ‘notified’ means the relevant CVO is aware of an incident that required tracing.
  4. ‘Location’ means any definable parcel of land including (but not limited to): any parcel of land with a property identification code, travelling stock routes, saleyards, abattoirs, feedlots, live export collection depots, show grounds, Crown land and transport staging depots.

NLIS state contacts

Information on NLIS for various livestock species