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Property Identification Codes (PIC's)

It is a requirement in NSW for owners of livestock such as cattle, sheep, goats and pigs to have a Property Identification Code (PIC) when trading or moving these livestock.

A PIC is a unique eight-character number assigned by Local Land Services to properties with livestock. This property registration system allows for the tracing of livestock to assist with disease and chemical residue management.

PIC information sheet - Landholders
PIC information sheet - Horses

Obtaining a PIC

To obtain a PIC you must complete an application form and lodge it with your Local Land Services office.

Why do I need a PIC?

All livestock owners/managers and occupiers of land that carries cattle, sheep, goats, pigs, bison, buffalo, deer, camelids, equines (ie horses and donkeys) and poultry (100 or more) must have a PIC, regardless of whether the livestock are moved or not. This is a requirement under the Biosecurity (NLIS) Regulation 2017 and Biosecurity Act 2015.

PICs are fundamental to the operation of the National Livestock Identification System (NLIS). PICs provide traceability to specific properties, which is important in the event of disease control or residue problems. NLIS is a part of Federal and State Government biosecurity strategies to trace meat from paddock to plate and to safeguard our domestic and export markets.

All other states have a PIC system to identify properties where livestock is kept.

When do I need to have a PIC?

If you have livestock you are required by law to have a PIC for the properties where your livestock reside. All livestock business, such as saleyards, abattoirs and showgrounds, must also have a PIC. Horse owners running horses on their own property and owners of properties where horses are agisted also need a PIC.

Penalties for non-compliance

The onus is on individual property and stock owners to comply with PIC requirements.

Any person using a service provided by NSW Department of Primary Industries or Local Land Services, which relates to a property on which a PIC is required, must provide the PIC of that property on request.

Compliance of the expanded PIC requirements should be achieved through advisory and market-based activities and incentives led by livestock industries. Regulatory action may occur in high-risk situations or for significant breaches when other methods have failed. The infringement notice penalty for not having a PIC is $550.

I already have a brand or earmark, do I need a PIC as well?

Yes. Brands and earmarks are for stock identification whereas a PIC identifies the land on which livestock reside. They have different fees and renewal periods.

What numbers make up a PIC?

The PIC contains the following information:

  • The first letter is N for New South Wales.
  • The second letter is a check digit that allows computers to automatically confirm that the PIC is valid and has been correctly entered.
  • The next two numbers are for the Local Land Services region.
  • The final four numbers make up your property number.

This code also enables the property occupiers to purchase identification devices, identify the property for movement recording and enrol in industry quality assurance programs.

How do PICs help NSW manage biosecurity and animal health threats?

Movements of cattle, sheep and goats between properties with different PICs are recorded on the NLIS database, so movements of these livestock on and off different properties and saleyards can be traced, as well as livestock movements to abattoirs. This is important if, for example, chemical residues are detected in meat at an abattoir, because the property where the affected stock were last held can be identified and investigations done on that property as to why the residues occurred.

PICs are printed on approved NLIS tags. PICs are also recorded on stock movement documents such as National Vendor Declarations and Transported Stock Statements so the movement of livestock off a property can be traced.

How much does a PIC cost and how do I pay for it?

For non-Local Land Services ratepayers, the PIC registration fee is $22 (inc GST).

For ratepayers the fee is $11 (inc GST). The PIC remains active as long as the landholder remains a ratepayer.

Once your application is processed, an invoice will be sent to you for payment by cheque, BPay, Eftpos or cash (at selected offices only).

How long will it take for me to get my PIC?

Once your payment has been received, you will be notified of your PIC number by post or email, usually within seven working days. Processing may take longer during periods when large numbers of applications are being lodged.

Agistment and lease properties

Each property usually has its own PIC. However, one PIC can be used for more than one property provided the properties are used for a common purpose (for example grazing the same livestock) and are adjoining or nearby. This is subject to approval by the Local Land Services region registrar.

Who takes responsibility for the PIC when the animal is agisted elsewhere?

The owner or occupier of a property on which any designated stock are held in captivity, and the owner or person in charge of any of those stock, must ensure that the property has a PIC.

If you plan to move stock to any land, you should be satisfied that there is a PIC for that land so you can meet your NLIS and other obligations.

For example:

  • if a person has cattle on agistment, then the owner of the agistment property and the owner of the cattle are both responsible for ensuring that the agistment property has a PIC
  • if a person owns a horse but normally keeps that horse at a friend's place, then the horse owner and their friend must both ensure that that place has a PIC
  • if animals are taken to a show, the owner of the showground (usually the local council) and the exhibitor must both confirm that the showground has a PIC.

How does this fit with the National Livestock Identification System (NLIS)?

PICs are fundamental to the operation and integrity of the NLIS because they provide traceability to specific properties. PICs are required every time cattle, sheep and goats are bought, sold or moved because the movement of these stock between different PICs is recorded on the NLIS database.

Additional information

Specific NLIS Database queries

  • NLIS Hotline: 1800 NLIS ID (1800 654 743)
  • To access the NLIS database, visit the NLIS website

NSW Department of Primary Industries