Department of Primary Industry and Fisheries
Placeholder for NTG rose logo.
Department of Primary Industry and Fisheries (DPIF)

NLIS in the NT

Print this Page

Animal Biosecurity 
Biosecurity and Animal Welfare Group

National Livestock Identification System (NLIS) in the Northern Territory

NLIS is Australia's system for the identification and tracing of livestock. It is a permanent whole-of-life identification system that enables individual animals to be tracked from property of birth to slaughter for food safety, product integrity and market access purposes.

As of the 1 January 2013 amendments to the Livestock Regulations relating to NLIS will come into effect. The most significant change is that ‘ALL cattle regardless of destination will require an approved NLIS device to be attached to the right ear prior to movement off a property’ The exemption of moving cattle from their property of birth direct to export or abattoir will cease. 

A further addition to the Livestock Regulations is that Registrar can approve the movement of livestock without an NLIS device being attached. The Registrar will consider the following event’s eligible for permission to move without an approved device attached;

  1. Natural Disaster: including events such as cyclone, flood, fire.
    1. After a natural disaster which has resulted in livestock unintentionally having moved from their original property and are required to be moved back home
    2. Or are required to be moved to another property to avoid stock losses 
  2. Return of stray cattle from neighbouring property
  3. Missed tagging - After tagging feral cattle a small number are missed, a permit may be granted to move the untagged cattle with the tagged cattle. This would be only accepted if the receiving property will prepared to tag those animals on arrival. A post breeder tag of the destination property is required to be attached (Not devices from the property of origin).
  4. Request in a special circumstance will be reviewed on a case by case basis

Permission will not be granted for requests such as;

  • No time to organise devices or tags
  • Lack of equipment such as pliers or staff
  • Poor infrastructure
  • Lack of time allocated for the tagging of animals.

Application to move livestock without a Permanent Identification Device or Transaction Tags  [PDF]

Application to move livestock without a Permanent Identification Device or Transaction Tags [Word]

Property Registration / Property Identification Code (PIC)

Does your urban or rural block or property have Livestock? Do you have a PIC?  [more]

NLIS for Sheep and Goats in the NT - from 1 January 2009 

NLIS Fact Sheets - (What Cattle Owners need to Know)

Principal Livestock Regulatory Officer (PLRO) and Registrar

Sharon Kearney          Phone:  08 8999 2031          Fax:  08 8999 2024

For further assistance please contact representative in your Region:

Darwin Katherine Tennant Creek Alice Springs

Ian Doddrell
Berrimah Farm
GPO Box 3000
Darwin NT 0801
Ph:  08 8999 2030
Fax: 08 8999 2146

Greg Scott
Katherine Research Stn
PO Box 1346
Katherine NT 0851
Ph:  08 8973 9754
Fax: 08 8973 9759

Tom Haines
Barkly House
PO Box 159
Tennant Creek NT 0861
Ph:  08 8962 4458
Fax: 08 8962 4480

Greg Crawford
PO Box 8760
Alice Springs NT 0871
Ph:  08 8951 8125
Fax: 08 8951 8123


For assistance with the NLIS Database contact the NLIS Database Helpdesk on 1800 654 743
E-mail:   |   Fax:  (02) 9463 9136   |   Website: