Australian National Livestock Identification System (NLIS)

Australian National Livestock Identification System (NLIS)


The National Livestock Identification System is compulsory and it helps Australia reach Agricultural production goals that are good for everyone. Because of the NLIS, Australian producers in the meat and dairy industries stand out among other countries . The high standards demanded by the NLIS ensure clean production where provenance can be traced for superior biosecurity. 

How Does the NLIS Work?

All cattle livestock must have NLIS tags so they can be tracked throughout their lives. The identifier is unique to that particular animal, and it is a criminal offence to remove the NLIS tag. There are rules to help you deal with problems, such as lost animals. If you have difficulty approaching a particular animal, you should be able to get the information from the NLIS cattle tags by scanning it electronically.

Users create accounts online with usernames and passwords, and even someone with a small property or only a few animals is required to register. There are two methods of tracking the cows, goats and sheep: you can use either visual NLISID numbers or electronic RFID numbers to record a livestock movement onto or off of a property.

Any animal that is deemed a risk because of health or biosecurity concerns will go through extra tests at slaughter. This not only protects the reputation of the industry, but it also helps keep disease spread to a minimum.

What Makes the NLIS Important?

Australia exports meat to over 100 world markets; in fact, it exports two-thirds of this as beef. The NLIS helps make sure this part of the economy stays strong, allowing those businesses to be profitable and secure.

Because of our geographical isolation and stringent regulations, Australia is known for being free of pests and diseases that are still common in other areas, like fruit flies and rabies. Using the NLIS provides just more proof that Australia has the best biosecurity practices.

While those are positive advantages, the NLIS also protects against negative consequences. By tracking each animal closely, you can help prevent a disaster. Any problems can be dealt with quickly, securely protecting Australia from disease epidemics or the spread of dangerous chemical residue. Once such a disaster spins out of control, it can impact the entire export industry.

How Did the NLIS Come About?

The Mad Cow Disease outbreak was a disaster to the British beef industry in 2001, and there are still consumers who worry about the longterm effects. Countries with large amounts of exports needed to find a way to ensure that never happened to them, so strict regulations were put into place to protect both local consumers and those buying the exports.

The NLIS was first introduced in 1999 to keep track of cattle, but expanded in 2009 to also track sheep and goats. State/Territory legislation provides the regulatory framework for the system. 

The NLIS Benefits You

Until you get used to it, the NLIS may seem complicated and like it's more trouble than it's worth. But never forget that the benefits aren't just for the country. The NLIS helps you on an individual level, too.

First, when Australia has a strong reputation in the global market, you have a stronger place too. Your product is more valuable because potential buyers know of the high system standards brought about by the NLIS.

Because you are tracking all of your livestock, you will be more organized and therefore more efficient. You can organize your resources better because you can easily see where each animal is. You can cull poor performers, immediately mark the lost, and better keep track of your own goals. The NLIS is a tool you can use to improve your business.



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