National Livestock Identification System
The system uses RFID devices to identify and track livestock and keeps a central electronic database of an animal’s residency and animals it has interacted with. The government claims the system improves food safety and access to export markets, and assists with disease management. Farmers must register their property if they hold one or more heads of livestock including cattle, sheep, goats, pigs, deer and camels, though the NLIS will not confirm ownership of livestock. The system originates from a cattle-tracing system introduced in Australia in the 1960s to help fight bovine tuberculosis.
The NLIS RFID system was introduced in New South Wales on 1 July 2004 and replaced the previous tail tag system for cattle. The approved devices used are the commonly used ear tags or alternatively a rumen bolus.
Similar systems exist in other countries such as the National Animal Identification System in the United States, the British Cattle Movement Service and the proposed National Animal Identification and Tracing in New Zealand.
- Beef News April 2004, NLIS for improved ID and tracing
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