About sheep and goat electronic identification (eID)

Individual electronic identification (eID) for sheep and managed goats will start from 1 January 2025 as part of an agreed national initiative.

Electronic identification, or eID, is a device with a microchip inside, generally in an ear tag. eID technology has been used successfully for cattle in Australia since 2005, and in sheep and goats in Victoria since 2016.

The national eID system has 3 elements to enable quick contact tracing:

  • Each location has a property identification code (PIC).
  • It uses a device with a microchip inside to identify each animal.
  • Information about each animal is entered into the National Livestock Identification System (NLIS) database.

Implementation plan

Currently, sheep and managed goats in Queensland must be identified with a visual NLIS device.

Queensland will transition to eID for sheep and managed goats in 2 stages:

  1. Sheep and managed goats born on or after 1 January 2025 will be identified with an NLIS-accredited eID device before leaving their property of birth.
  2. All other sheep and managed goats leaving a property will need to be identified with an NLIS-accredited eID device from 1 January 2027.

What you need to do

Producers will need:

  • eID devices
  • eID device applicator
  • reader and computer to support the NLIS database transfer if you purchase livestock directly from another property.

Saleyards will need:

  • eID readers
  • connectivity, software and hardware
  • modified yard infrastructure.

Processors will need:

  • eID readers (existing or new)
  • modified infrastructure.

Financial assistance

The Queensland Sheep and Goat eID Assistance Package supports Queensland sheep and goat producers, saleyards, processors and livestock agents to implement the mandatory eID system.

Harvested rangeland goats

Harvested rangeland goats are eligible for a 'tag-free movement' directly to slaughter or via 1 registered goat depot.

A harvested rangeland goat has:

  • been captured from a wild state
  • not been born as a result of a managed breeding program
  • not been subjected to any animal husbandry procedure or treatment.

You must:

  • have a Biosecurity Queensland inspectors' approval for a 'tag-free movement' of a harvested rangeland goat
  • hold accreditation with Livestock Production Assurance (LPA) for harvested rangeland goats.

Benefits of eID

We need a fast, efficient and accurate sheep and goat traceability system to protect Queensland's livestock industry from an emergency animal disease outbreak.

Watch the Where's Woolly? video to learn more about why we're introducing sheep and goat eIDs.

Queensland Traceability Advisory Group (QTAG)

The Queensland Traceability Advisory Group (QTAG) is made up of key industry representatives and government agencies who are working together to implement eID in Queensland.

National approach

Other states have implemented or announced their implementation plans:

The Australian Government has:

  • announced $26 million for an upgrade of the NLIS database
  • established an industry-government Sheep and Goat Traceability Task Force, to ensure the NLIS database and eID systems across all states and territories are compatible.

More information