NLIS approved devices or tags

Under the Biosecurity Act 2014, the Chief Executive decides the specifications for approved devices (NLIS devices) to be fitted to different types of special designated animals.

As the National Livestock Identification System (NLIS) is a national system, Queensland recognises the need for national consistency around specifications for approved devices and the type of devices used for individual species. Nationally, NLIS Limited sets the specifications for NLIS devices and trial protocols.

Obtaining approved devices or tags

Approved devices and tags are only available from licenced manufacturers.

To order an approved device or tag you must first obtain an 'Application for Permanent NLIS Device' signed by an inspector. This application is available from the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF) offices where inspectors are located. Contact our Customer Service Centre on 13 25 23 for assistance.

Special designated animals

Special designated animals are cattle, sheep, goats, pigs, bison, buffalo, alpacas, llamas or a designated animal prescribed under a regulation as a special designated animal. These special designated animals, where applicable, require identification with an approved device (NLIS device or tag).

What is an approved device?

An approved device may take any form the DAF Chief Executive considers appropriate, including:

  • an ear tag that meets the specifications of size, colour, and design, whether electronic or visual, which has met the trial protocols outlined in the specification documents
  • an internal device, either a rumen bolus or implant, which contains an approved electronic transponder. A rumen bolus must be of a specific gravity and it is inserted into the stomach of special designated animals
  • a slap brand registered in Queensland for use on pigs
  • a tattoo.

Summary of approved devices

  • Breeder devices/tags are applied to animals that were born at a particular place identified by the PIC (Property identification code) recorded on or shown by the tag, and have not been previously travelled.
  • Post breeder devices/tags are applied where the animals were not born at the place identified by the PIC recorded on or shown by the tag; or were born at the particular place identified by a PIC recorded on or shown by the tag, but have previously been travelled from the place.
  • Internal devices:
    • an implant inserted into an animal at a specific site
    • a bolus and bolus ear tag is used in combination. When a bolus is inserted into the stomach of an animal, a bolus ear tag must be applied to the animal to show that animal has a bolus. The bolus ear tag is specific in design, size and colour.
  • Saleyard post breeder device/tag is a device or tag for use at saleyards if designated animals arrive at saleyards untagged.
  • District breeder and district post breeder devices/tags can be supplied by an inspector to an owner of an animal that is not from a registered place and is held on a registrable place.
  • Goat tattoos are for goats that have never been rangeland goats. It is an imprinted ear tattoo to show the place of departure for their first travel from their place of birth. It's usually restricted to a breed society with registration processes.
  • Pig brands are imprinted, by way of a tattoo, under the Queensland Brands Act 1915, to show the place of departure for their travel or proposed travel.
  • Pig ear tags show their place of departure, identified by a PIC recorded on, or shown by, the tag and the letter 'P' within a circle.

Specifications for devices

Approved devices are required to meet certain standards that relate to:

  • technology
  • device coding
  • NLIS number configuration
  • printing
  • device colour
  • device performance
  • device design
  • transponder performance
  • trail performance
  • physical deterioration.

Specifications for devices are taken from the:

  • NLIS field trial protocol – radio frequency identification devices
  • NLIS standard – radio frequency identification devices
  • Protocol for device trials for visual tags
  • Standards for visual tags.

Find more information on these standards and a detailed list of accredited devices/tags for cattle, sheep and goats, or contact our Customer Service Centre on 13 25 23 for assistance.