A quick guide to the NLIS

by Julie Lacy for News Leave a comment
A quick guide to the NLIS

Who is the NLIS and why they matter to you.

If you are a livestock farmer, you want to be across who and what the NLIS is all about. The National Livestock Identification Systemis the process for the permanent identification and lifetime traceability of all livestock in Australia. We have broken down the basics for you so you can get your head around the ‘need to know’ info on this farming authority and what they mean to you and your farming business.

The NLIS is a system developed by the Livestock Production Assurance Program, sitting under Meat and Livestock Australia.

It is made up of three elements:

  1. The property identification or PIC number of the animal or the physical location.
  2. The device: The visual or electronic tag or brand on the animal.
  3. The database: The web-based storage for all animal data.

The system is used to record and track livestock movements primarily for disease control, biosecurity, food safety and market access.

Livestock can be identified either individually or by mob, depending on what is agreed by each industry sector.

Why you should take control of your NLIS account.

Livestock traceability is perhaps the most critical aspect of being a farmer and one that you should take seriously. It enables you to:

  1. Apply a quality assurance process for your product.
  2. Achieve the best price for it from buyers along the supply chain.
  3. Protect your livestock and business from biosecurity threats.

NLIS is Australia’s system for the identification and tracing of livestock. It is a permenant, whole-of-life tracking approach enabling individual animals to be traced from property of birth to slaughter for food safety, product integrity and market access purposes. NLIS provides the facility for livestock movements to be logged in a secure central database. It also provides other benefits such as allowing carcase feedback from abattoirs to be viewed by producers.

Here are four reasons to get NLIS right on your farm:

  1. Disease response

If in the event of an outbreak of animal disease in Australia, such as Foot and Mouth Disease, rapid tracing of animals is critical in any emergency disease response. The quicker animals are traced, the greater the chances of controlling a disease outbreak and minimising the costly effects on industry and its supporting sectors.

The NLIS tracing system means that outbreaks can be contained swiftly and minimises the number of properties affected by the disease.

  1. Chemical contamination

Perhaps a more common threat is chemical contamination. Australia’s export markets do not accept livestock products that exceed specified thresholds of chemical residues. This means that your product has limited selling power if it does not follow the rules.

Tracing cohort animals minimises the trade effects of such violations and ensures these violations are not repeated.

  1. Market access

Australia has an outstanding reputation with export markets for the quality of its livestock. This is driven by an absence of diseases and contaminants. Loss of market access could be caused by the effect of weak disease management and chemical contaminants.

There is a growing trend among Australia’s bigger export markets, who are demanding mandatory identification and traceability of Australian products from the property of birth through to the consumer. This is not possible without the NLIS.

Lifetime traceability can also be reinforced with your own record keeping. If you can keep your compliance paperwork organised, your biosecurity planning up to date and your standards high, you will be a much better position to access the big export markets.

  1. Reputation

We are one and we are many. We are an industry with an amazing reputation internationally as livestock producers but we are only as good as the individual.

Do your bit to keep the industry clean and know that you are helping to ensure overall marketability and top price for our product. An effective and recognised traceability system provides:

  • An insurance policy in the event of a disease outbreak
  • A competitive advantage over other producing nations with less comprehensive systems
  • Improved quality assurance protection for the good reputation of the Australian livestock industries.

Put simply, the NLIS is a safety system for tracking and tracing all livestock in Australia. If we all follow the rules, it will make for a cleaner, safer and healthier industry and export product overall.

Aglive’s IntegriPro software enables you to easily capture your livestock data without the need for manual entry, filing and paperwork. Simplifying and streamlining your compliance procedures will have you audit ready in no time.

Learn more about Aglive IntegriPro.

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