Industry Focus


Livestock traceability is of increasing importance to livestock industries, consumers and regulators internationally. The Australian pork industry operates in a global marketplace and ability to respond rapidly to contain a disease outbreak or food safety incident is vital to maintaining product integrity, food safety, biosecurity and access to markets for pork products.


The National Livestock Identification System (NLIS) describes Australia’s national system for the identification and traceability of livestock. NLIS was developed as a partnership between the livestock industries and governments in response to market and regulatory demands in 2008 with a view to ongoing development and continuous improvement. The traceability rules or standards that apply to pigs is known as NLIS Pigs. These are used by governments to implement NLIS Pigs into legislation. NLIS Pigs is designed to link pigs to a property of origin using a Property Identification Code (PIC), registered pig identification (ear tags and tattoos), and pig movement documentation. For the pig industry, the system operates through PigPass, and includes the PigPass National Vendor Declaration (PigPass NVD) as the movement document.

From 1 February 2018, state and territory governments will legislate for mandatory NLIS requirements for pigs’ traceability. This includes identification. All weaned pigs leaving the property will need to be identified with a brand/tattoo or an NLIS approved pig tag.

For more information on pig identification requirements visit and click on the ‘Identification’ tab.

The PigPass system

The PigPass system is administered by APL on behalf of the pork industry. A PigPass NVD functions as a movement document for livestock traceability and provides a declaration that pig production has been carried out in a way that meets agreed industry and government standards relating to food safety, animal disease control and animal welfare. Buyers and processors rely on this information to ensure only the safest food enters the supply chain.

A PigPass NVD should accompany all movements of pigs including when travelling to saleyards, abattoirs or to a property with a different Property Identification Code (PIC). Pigs must also be identified (with a pig tattoo or ear tag) in accordance with pig identification requirements in your state before movement commences. It is now the responsibility of the receiver of the pigs to report the movement to the PigPass database using the information on the PigPass NVD.

For more information on the PigPass system and/or to obtain a PigPass NVD visit

APL’s fact sheet on pig identification requirements

How to register for PigPass & electronic NVDs