Livestock movement and identification in the Northern Territory

Regulation of livestock identification and movements is an essential component of any disease control system. The livestock Act and Regulations is the legislation that regulates livestock identification and movements in the Northern Territory. Livestock Transport Standards (LTS) is administered by the Department of Primary Industry and Resources (DPIR). Failure to comply with the NT Livestock Act and Regulations could result in penalties which may include an infringement notice being issued or prosecution.

Animals defined under the Livestock Act as ‘identifiable livestock’ are:

Alpacas, llamas, bison, buffalo, cattle, camels, deer, emus, ostriches, goats, horses, mules, donkeys, pigs, poultry, pigeons and sheep.

Under the Livestock Act and Regulations, livestock owners are required to comply with the following identification and movement requirements to support market access and traceability in the case of an animal disease or chemical residue incident:

Property Identification Code (PIC)

All parcels of land in the NT that have identifiable livestock are required to register for a PIC with the Department.

For more information visit the DPIR website.

Search NT PICs.


Under the NT Livestock Act a NT registered brand is required on all cattle over eight months of age. The brand is required to be legible and in the correct position as stated on the registered brand certificate.

It is an offence to apply an earmark to a cow unless the animal has a legible brand applied.

Search NT Brands.

Brand/earmark application forms and further information on brands is available from

National Livestock Identification System (NLIS)

The NLIS system in Australia was introduced by Industry and enacted in state and territory legislation. It commenced in the NT on 1 July 2007 and is Australia's system for identifying and tracing livestock for food safety, product integrity and market access purposes.

In the NT, all cattle and buffalo must have an approved NLIS device attached to their right ear before they are moved off a property, regardless of where they are going. All sheep and goats must have an approved transaction tag for any movement off a property.

Identification before movement

The owner of the property must ensure all livestock moving off the property have an NLIS device attached to the off side (right) ear before the livestock movement begins.

Reporting requirements for the owner of the property of destination

The owner of the property of destination must ensure that the NLIS information is entered on the NLIS database within 48 hours after the movement is completed.

The NLIS database stores all cattle and buffalo movements.

Further information is available from

Last updated: 30 April 2020

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