eID information

Australia has world-leading livestock traceability systems, and an ongoing reform agenda to ensure these continue to meet and exceed our needs into the future to maintain our biosecurity and enhance export trade.

In September 2022, (Commonwealth, State and Territory) Agriculture Ministers reaffirmed their commitment, first agreed in July 2022, for government to work collaboratively with industry to advance work on a national approach to Australia’s livestock traceability systems. This includes Ministers’ collective agreement to introduce a national mandatory individual electronic identification (eID) for sheep and goats, working towards 1 January 2025.

To undertake this work the National Biosecurity Committee (NBC) established a new government-industry Sheep and Goat Traceability Task Force (SGTTF). Governments and industry are working together towards a mandatory national traceability system using eID for sheep and goats by 1 January 2025.

Remember the range of eID tags available are all NLIS Approved which means when you order them, they will come with the NLIS Logo and your PIC. They must be applied to your sheep or goats when they leave your property.

Why is eID being implemented?

The implementation of electronic identification (eID) in livestock, such as sheep and goats, serves several important purposes aimed at enhancing traceability and biosecurity within the industry:

  1. Accurate and Timely Traceability: eID systems allow for more precise and immediate tracing of individual animals throughout their lifecycle. This capability ensures that each animal can be tracked from birth to slaughter, enabling better monitoring of movements and activities.
  2. Quick Response to Disease Outbreaks and Food Safety Concerns: By accurately identifying and tracing animals, authorities can swiftly respond to disease outbreaks or food safety concerns. This capability is crucial for preventing the spread of diseases within the livestock population and safeguarding public health.
  3. Minimization of Impact during Emergencies: During emergency disease situations, such as outbreaks of contagious diseases like foot-and-mouth disease, eID systems help minimize the number of animals and producers affected. Swift identification and containment of affected animals reduce the overall impact on the industry and prevent unnecessary destruction of healthy livestock.
  4. Facilitation of Export Market Access: Improved traceability through eID systems reduces the time that a country like Australia may be restricted from export markets following disease outbreaks or residue incidents. This enhances confidence among trading partners and helps maintain access to valuable export markets.

The effectiveness of eID systems is highlighted by various case studies and experiences, such as the findings from a traceability exercise conducted by SAFEMEAT, which demonstrated significantly higher traceability rates with eID compared to traditional visual tag-based systems. Additionally, experiences from regions like Victoria in Australia have shown substantial improvements in the speed and efficiency of traceback processes with the adoption of eID technology, reducing the time required from days to hours.

The implementation of eID in livestock serves as a critical tool for enhancing biosecurity, improving traceability, and safeguarding the integrity of the livestock industry and its products.

How do eIDs improve traceability?

eID significantly enhances traceability in the livestock industry by providing a systematic and efficient means of tracking and identifying individual animals throughout their lifecycle. Here’s how it achieves this:

  1. Individual Identification: eID allows for the precise tracking of movements of animals between locations. Each animal is assigned a unique identifier, which is electronically recorded and can be easily accessed throughout its life. This enables authorities and stakeholders to accurately monitor the movement of animals from birth to slaughter, ensuring comprehensive traceability.
  2. Accurate Record Keeping: Through the use of a centralized database like the National Livestock Identification System (NLIS) database, eID systems facilitate accurate record-keeping of all relevant information pertaining to each animal. This includes details such as birth records, ownership transfers, health status, and movement history. Having such comprehensive and reliable data ensures that the information regarding livestock can be easily accessed and verified whenever necessary.
  3. Quick Retrieval of Information: In the event of a disease outbreak or food safety concern, the ability to quickly retrieve information is crucial for effective response and containment measures. With eID systems, authorities can rapidly access relevant data from the centralized database, including the movement history of affected animals and their potential interactions with other livestock. This enables prompt action to be taken to mitigate the spread of disease and protect public health.
  4. Supply Chain Transparency and Consumer Confidence: eID enhances supply chain transparency by providing accurate and verifiable information regarding the origin and movement of livestock. Consumers can have greater confidence in the safety and quality of the products they purchase, knowing that comprehensive traceability measures are in place. This transparency fosters trust between producers, regulators, and consumers, ultimately benefiting the entire livestock industry.

eID plays a vital role in improving traceability within the livestock industry by offering a range of benefits, including individual identification, accurate record-keeping, rapid information retrieval, and enhanced supply chain transparency. These capabilities contribute to a more resilient and sustainable livestock sector, safeguarding both animal welfare and public health.

What is eID?

Electronic identification devices (eID) allow individual identification of animals. The devices have a Radio Frequency Identifier (RFID) microchip, which has a distinctive 16-digit internal serial number, also known as an RFID number. When “read” by a handheld wand or panel reader, this RFID number can be electronically recorded. The RFID is linked to an external visual code (NLIS ID) that is the unique visual identifier for the tagged animal. Both the RFID serial number and the NLIS ID are connected in the NLIS database to uniquely identify individual animals.

Only devices accredited by Integrity Systems/ISC can be used in sheep and goats in NSW for eID purposes.

WHAT’S RFID?

RFID stands for Radio Frequency Identification, and it is also referred to as Electronic Identification (EID).

An RFID ear tag carries a unique electronic identification number and allows animals to be electronically recognised and data stored automatically about each animal. The RFID is the “internal number” that you scan with your stick reader and the NLIS ID is the number printed on the tag. These two numbers are linked together on the NLIS Database and this information is uploaded to your PIC and NLIS Account when the manufacturer completes your order. 

On farm, an RFID system consists of:

  • Tags: house the transponder that hold and sends the identification information
  • Readers: energises the transponder of the tag and receives identification information
  • Data Collectors: stores the identification information
  • Data Processors: uses the information and provides outputs of data.

An NLIS electronic tag consists of 2 identifiers:

  1. visual identification on the outside of the tag (the NLIS number), which includes the PIC
  2. Radio Frequency Identification Device (RFID) number, which is the internal transponder number of the device.

The visually readable NLIS number, or NLIS ID, consists of:

  • the 8-character PIC of the property on which the tag is to be used
  • 3 characters coding to represent the manufacturer, device type (for example, whether the tag is a breeder or post-breeder tag), year of supply (using the Australian Breedplan alpha character for that particular year)
  • a 5-character serial number (the first character may be a letter, except ‘I’ or ‘O’).

The following is an example of an NLIS number that might appear on an electronic NLIS (Sheep) breeder tag issued for use :

NA123456 X S H 00034

In this example:

  • NA123456 — Property Identification Code
  • X — Manufacturer
  • S — Device type
  • H — Year of supply
  • 00034 — Serial number.

PIC list under the PIC

N – NSW

N – ACT

Q – QLD

W – WA

S – SA

M – TAS

3 – VIC

Manufacturer Code

Year 

2023 – U

2024 – V

2025 – W

2026 – X

2027 – Y

2028 – Z

Some quick Facts about the eID NLIS Approved tags

NLIS tags

There are 2 types of NLIS devices, also known as tags, used for the permanent identification of sheep and goats.

Breeder tags

Breeder tags are for identifying animals still on their property of birth. They can be any colour except pink.

It is recommended that coloured tags are attached according to what year the animal is born.

Post breeder tags

Post breeder tags are pink. These identify sheep and goats that have moved from their property of birth and:

  • have lost their original tag
  • it is impractical to record the birth PIC on movement documentation.

NLIS tags hold one of the following levels of accreditation with Integrity Systems (ISC):

  • conditional accreditation, where tags are still being assessed as part of a 3-year field trial but are performing satisfactorily, or
  • full accreditation, where the tags have completed their field trial and met the requirements of the national standards.

Print Type

Laser print only.

Each manufacturers has different print layouts that will allow for additional information on the tag such as Property Name or Sequential Number range

Colours Available

All year colours are available – refer to FAQs • Ear Tags Warehouse for the Sheep & Goat Year Colours

Manufacturers of eID NLIS Approved tags 

Allflex

Enduro Tags

Leader Products

Shearwell

Ztags

Style of Tag

All are a self piercing wrap around tag expect an Allflex Tamperproof eID Tag and the Enduro Sheep eID Tag

Goat or Sheep

All are both approved for Sheep and Goats except the Enduro – it is sheep only

NSW

  1. June 30, 2024:
    • Mandatory processor eID scanning and upload.
  2. January 1, 2025:
    • Mandatory eID for all sheep and farmed goats born from this date, prior to leaving the property of birth.
    • Mandatory eID scanning and upload by saleyards and depots.
    • Mandatory eID property-to-property transfers.
  3. January 1, 2027:
    • Mandatory eID for all sheep and farmed goats prior to leaving any property.
  • The NSW Government has released an industry implementation plan for transitioning to mandatory eID tagging systems for sheep and farmed goats.
  • Rebates are provided for eligible industry participants to help cover the costs associated with purchasing and installing eID tagging infrastructure.
  • These rebates aim to support stakeholders in adopting eID systems, thereby enhancing livestock management practices and improving traceability.
  • Primary producers and stock and station agents in NSW have until March 31, 2024, or until program funding is exhausted, to submit their rebate applications.
  • Applications for rebates from saleyard operators and processors have already closed.

Interested parties can visit the provided website (https://www.raa.nsw.gov.au/grants/eid/producers) for more information on the implementation plan and how to apply for rebates.

This initiative represents a collaborative effort between industry and government to modernize livestock management practices, enhance traceability, and contribute to the efficiency and sustainability of the agricultural sector in NSW.

QLD

  1. On or after January 1, 2025:
    • Sheep and managed goats born on or after this date must be identified with an NLIS-accredited eID device before leaving their property of birth.
  2. January 1, 2027:
    • All other sheep and managed goats leaving a property must be identified with an NLIS-accredited eID device.
  • Applications:
    • Open: To be confirmed.
    • Close: When all funds are allocated, as package funding is limited.
  • Application Outcome:
    • Within 30 business days from the date of application.
  • Eligibility Criteria:
    • Registered producer with a PIC based in Queensland.
    • 30 or more sheep or managed goats.
    • Current registered biosecurity entity (RBE) registration.
    • Not claimed assistance through any other Queensland Government eID.
    • Only one claim per Queensland PIC.
    • Agree to be audited if requested.
    • Claim for eligible purchases made from January 1, 2023.
  • Rebate Details:
    • 50% rebate on the purchase and installation of eID devices and readers, up to $1,600 per PIC.
  • Eligibility Criteria:
    • Registered saleyard with a PIC based in Queensland.
    • Current registered biosecurity entity (RBE) registration.
    • Current Australian Business Number (ABN).
    • Uploaded a minimum of 4 mob-based movement files to NLIS database since December 1, 2022.
    • Not claimed assistance through any other Queensland Government eID.
    • Only one claim per Queensland PIC.
    • Agree to be audited if requested.
    • Claim for eligible purchases made from January 1, 2023.
  • Rebate Details:
    • Small saleyards (1–500 head/week): Up to $2,500.
    • Large saleyards (more than 501 head/week): Up to $65,000.
  • Eligibility Criteria:
    • Registered processor with a PIC based in Queensland.
    • Current registered biosecurity entity (RBE) registration.
    • Current ABN.
    • Hold a current Safe Food Queensland registration.
    • Process a specific number of heads/week based on NLIS upload information.
    • Not claimed assistance through any other Queensland Government eID.
    • Only one claim per Queensland PIC.
    • Agree to be audited if requested.
    • Claim for eligible purchases made from January 1, 2023.
  • Rebate Details:
    • Small processors (1–100 head/week): Up to $2,500.
    • Medium processors (101–2,000 head/week): Up to $10,000.
    • Large processors (more than 2,001 head/week): Up to $85,000.
  • Eligibility Criteria:
    • Current ABN.
    • Only one claim per registered business address in Queensland.
    • Evidence of agent function within the sheep and goat industry.
    • Evidence of conducting livestock auctions or sales for the sheep and goat sector in Queensland, with uploaded NLIS sheep or goat transfers.
    • Not claimed assistance through any other Queensland Government eID.
    • Agree to be audited if requested.
    • Claim for eligible purchases made from January 1, 2023.
    • Agricultural Show Societies must provide additional documentation.
  • Rebate Details:
    • Up to $1,600 for eID readers (panel and handheld) only.
  • eID devices.
  • eID hardware (computers, laptops, tablets).
  • Infrastructure for connectivity between eID and hardware.
  • Purchase, installation, or training for software connected to sheep and goat eID infrastructure.
  • Software subscriptions.

This comprehensive plan outlines the phased implementation of eID for sheep and managed goats in Queensland, along with specific rebate details and eligibility criteria for producers, saleyards, processors, livestock agents, and Agricultural Show Societies.

WA

  1. Before January 1, 2025:
    • Sheep and goats born before this date will only require an eID tag if departing a property or facility from July 1, 2026, onwards. They can use visual tags if departing before July 1, 2026.
  2. From January 1, 2025, Onward:
    • Sheep and goats born after this date will require an eID tag when leaving the property or when they reach 6 months of age, whichever comes first.
  3. Starting July 1, 2025:
    • Saleyards and abattoirs will begin scanning eID tagged sheep and goats.
    • They can continue processing visual tags for stock born before January 1, 2025, until July 1, 2026.
  4. From July 1, 2026:
    • All remaining properties or facilities receiving sheep or goats will be required to scan all eID tags.
    • Visual tagging will no longer apply from this date.

The WA Government has allocated a total of $25.6 million toward the implementation of the sheep and goat eID regime in WA.

Tag Incentive Payment (TIP) Scheme:

  • The TIP scheme provides discounted, accredited eID tags to Western Australian sheep and goat producers.
  • Initially piloted in March 2023, it offers reduced costs for eID tags.
  • Producers can continue purchasing discounted, accredited black eID tags in 2024 as part of the transition to the mandatory eID regime.

 

eID Infrastructure Grants Program:

  • The WA Government has announced a $3.52 million grants package to aid the sheep and goat industry in transitioning to the new national eID system.
  • The first round of grants, which has closed, is directed to saleyards, abattoirs, export depots, registered feedlots, and livestock agents to integrate eID technology and equipment into their business.
  • Grants cover the purchase of eID scanners, readers, wands, and essential eID tools and materials, as well as limited works to accommodate eID technologies.
  • A second round of competitive grants will be opened to other downstream operators from early 2024.

For more detailed information on the eID Infrastructure Grant Program, interested parties can view the Grant Guidelines or Frequently Asked Questions provided by the WA Government.

TAS

  • November 2023:
    • Establishment of Tasmania’s Sheep and Goat eID Implementation Plan.
    • Tas Sheep and Goat Electronic Identification Implementation Plan (PDF 516Kb)
  • 1 March 2024:
    • Commencement of a grant round for supply chain infrastructure.
    • Eligible supply chain participants (other than sheep and goat producers) will receive grants to install required eID scanning infrastructure.
  • 1 January 2025:
    • Mandatory eID tagging of sheep and goats leaving a property begins.
    • All supply chain participants should be ready to scan eID tags by this date.
  • 1 July 2024 – 30 June 2026:
    • Grant round for eID tags and handheld radio-frequency identification (RFID) scanning devices.
    • Rebates for NLIS approved eID ear tags and leg bands, as well as handheld RFID scanning devices and required software (pocket and stick), will be provided for eligible producers and show societies.

For Supply Chain Participants (Other Than Producers):

  • Grants of up to 75% of the full cost of purchase and installation of eligible eID infrastructure will be provided.

 

For Show Societies and Not-for-Profit Organizations:

  • Up to 100% of the cost of purchase of handheld Bluetooth scanning devices and required software (pocket and stick) will be covered.

 

For Sheep and Goat Producers, Hobby Farmers, or Landowners of Pet Sheep or Goats:

  • Rebate of up to $1 per tag on the retail price of NLIS sheep and goat eID ear tags.
  • Rebate of up to $4 per tag on the retail price of NLIS approved goat legband eID devices, where ear tags are not suitable for particular goat breeds.
  • Up to 100% of the cost of purchase of handheld Bluetooth scanning devices and required software (pocket and stick) will be provided.

Detailed information regarding grant rounds for supply chain infrastructure and eID tags and devices will be provided soon.

SA

  • From January 1, 2025:
    • All new-born lambs and kids must be identified with an NLIS accredited electronic identification (eID) tag before leaving their property of birth.

eID Tag Discount at Point of Sale:

  • Availability: From January 1, 2024.
  • Discount: $0.95 discount per NLIS accredited tag provided by specific manufacturers: Allflex Australia, Datamars, Enduro Tags, Leader Products, and Shearwell.
  • Applicability: Discount applies to NLIS accredited eID tags aligned to the year-of-birth color system:
    • Black eID tags for 2024 (discount available from January 1, 2024, to December 31, 2024).
    • White eID tags for 2025 (discount available from January 1, 2025, to June 30, 2025).
  • Eligibility: Active property identification code (PIC) holders are eligible for discounted tags.
  • Process: Discount applied by the retailer or tag manufacturer at the time of purchase. No additional paperwork is required.

 

eID Device Rebate (2023):

 

Essential Infrastructure Support:

  • Support: Government of South Australia will cover 75% of the cost of essential infrastructure required by saleyards and processors for implementing eID across the supply chain.

Eligibility: Visit https://pir.sa.gov.au/funding_and_support/funding/eid_infrastructure_rebate for eligibility and application guidelines.

Detailed information regarding grant rounds for supply chain infrastructure and eID tags and devices will be provided soon.

These initiatives aim to assist South Australian sheep and goat producers, saleyards, and processors in transitioning to the mandatory eID regime, providing discounts on eID tags, rebates for eligible devices, and support for essential infrastructure.