WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT REGULATED LIVESTOCK MOVEMENT
IN WESTERN AUSTRALIA.
The movement of livestock in Western Australia is heavily
regulated, with a mandatory livestock ownership, identification,
and movement reporting system. The regulatory emphasis on stock
traceability is aimed at maintaining access to export markets, and
to allow stock to be traced for disease and to deter stock
The Department of Agriculture and Food, Western Australia
(Department) regulates livestock identification
and movement within and into WA.
All livestock owners within WA must be registered with the
Department and their stock identified in accordance with the
Biosecurity and Agriculture Management (Identification and
Movement of Stock and Apiaries) Regulations 2013 (BAM
Regulations). Livestock includes buffalo, cattle, deer,
goats, horses, ostrich, pigs, alpaca, llama, and vicuna, whether
they are commercial animals or pets.
On registration the Department allocates a property
identification code (PIC) to the owner to indicate
who owns the animals and where they are kept. Any person purchasing
livestock must have a PIC for the property where they intend to
keep the livestock.
The BAM Regulations also require the use of the National
Livestock Identification System (NLIS) which is a
whole-of-life identification system that enables animals to be
tracked from property of birth to slaughter.
Each species has its own identification requirements, consisting
of a stock brand, earmark or tattoo, and an age by which time stock
should be identified. Alternative identification systems may be
approved on application to the Department. All movement of
livestock to a property with a different PIC must be recorded on
the NLIS database.
Under the BAM Regulations it is mandatory for appropriate
documentation to accompany any livestock (except horses) whenever
they leave a property. This applies to livestock that are dead or
This documentation may be a waybill, national vendor declaration
(NVD) waybill, pig pass, or permit, as required,
and must show where the movement commenced and finished, including
the PIC of both properties.
Waybill books are available from the Department's district
offices. They are used when an NVD is not required, such as the
transportation of an animal to the vet or to an agricultural show.
An NVD waybill is a combined form that records stock movements and
additional information about the food safety and health status of
the stock, and is required when livestock are moved for sale,
export, or slaughter.
A permit may be obtained from a stock inspector of the
Department when stock do not have the correct identification and
need to be moved. A permit allows movement to a place where the
livestock may be safely identified, movement for slaughter, or
movement for sale for slaughter only.
If an owner is moving their livestock between their properties
listed under the one PIC, they can carry their PIC card or a full
copy of it in place of a waybill. The properties need to be listed
on the card and the livestock must be identified or registered to
It is the responsibility of the person who owns or manages the
property from which the livestock is leaving (not livestock
carriers) to provide a waybill, NVD, or permit as required. This
may not be the owner of the livestock if an on-farm sale has
occurred. It is the responsibility of the saleyard operator to
provide the waybill or equivalent for stock being moved from a
The NVD or waybill must be completed in triplicate and all
copies kept for seven years. The original must accompany the
livestock and be handed to the consignee or recipient of the stock,
the carrier retains the first copy, and the second copy remains
with the consigning owner.
A breach of the BAM Regulations typically attracts a fine of
$2,000 to $5,000, although the penalty for altering, or the
unauthorised use or placement of, an approved animal identifier is
a fine of up to $20,000.
The information published in this paper is of a general
nature and should not be construed as legal advice. Whilst we aim
to provide timely, relevant and accurate information, the law may
change and circumstances may differ. You should not therefore act
in reliance on it without first obtaining specific legal
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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