Movement regulations and legal responsibilities

When moving livestock, owners must follow mandatory requirements (e.g. traceability) depending on the species of livestock that are being moved and where they are going. The National Livestock Identification System (NLIS) ensures lifetime movements of cattle can be identified and recorded within Australia. Traceability, especially lifetime traceability, is important for biosecurity purposes, including the management of disease and chemical residues.

There are specific NLIS requirements when moving different types of livestock. All cattle must be fitted with an approved NLIS device when moving between properties. Properties are identified by means of a Property Identification Code (PIC). All movements must be reported to the NLIS database within 48 hours of livestock being moved.

State and territory government agencies require movement documentation. They may also require testing and/or certification to ensure livestock are free of certain pests and diseases.

Before moving any livestock within your state, or to a different state or territory, owners should check the requirements on your relevant state or territory website (see links below) or contact your local stock office.

Cattle tick distribution and movement regulations

Figure 1. Geographic distribution of the Australian cattle tick (Rhipicephalus australis).
Figure 1. Geographic distribution of the Australian cattle tick (Rhipicephalus australis).

Queensland

Queensland is divided into 2 cattle tick zones the Queensland cattle tick free zone and the Queensland cattle tick infested zone. All livestock must be free of cattle tick before entering the free zone. When moving livestock between zones there are risk minimisation requirements that must be met. The transporting of livestock between cattle tick zones guide covers this in detail including information about livestock movement records.

Cattle ticks found in the cattle tick free zone are notifiable under the Biosecurity Act 2014 which means by law you must report the finding to Biosecurity Queensland immediately.

From the 1st of June, 2021 the QLD government will implement a new cattle tick management requirement.  As of this date all cattle consignments presented to an accredited certifier must be accompanied by an owner Declaration. The Crossing the Tick Line Factsheet contains further detail on this change.

For more information go to Queensland Government livestock movement

New South Wales

Cattle tick infestation is notifiable in NSW under the NSW Biosecurity Act 2015 and animals that carry cattle tick can only enter NSW if they meet certain inspection and/or treatment requirements before entering NSW. Animals moving to abattoirs or feedlots have less stringent requirements than animal moving to other properties. There are legal controls on the entry of cattle tick carriers (animals that can carry cattle tick) to NSW. For more information see the NSW Government Primefact on NSW entry requirements.

Northern Territory

Cattle tick is a serious pest in the Northern Territory (NT). There are different levels of control on stock movement depending on which zone cattle are leaving and where they are going. For information on moving cattle, buffalo, horses, sheep, goats, camels, deer, llamas and alpacas within the infected zone, the free zone and the Parkhurst (SP resistant) Infected Zone see the following Northern Territory Government website on cattle tick control.

Figure 2. Movement of cattle in the northern Territory is regulated across two cattle tick zones, the infected and tick free zone (pink to green) and the Parkhurst (SP Cypermethrin) resistant to infected zone (bright pink to pale pink).
Figure 2. Movement of cattle in the northern Territory is regulated across two cattle tick zones, the infected and tick free zone (pink to green) and the Parkhurst (SP Cypermethrin) resistant to infected zone (bright pink to pale pink).

Western Australia

Strict movement requirements exist when importing livestock from interstate and/or overseas into Western Australia (WA).

In Western Australia, any movement of stock from any area (both interstate and intrastate) other than a cattle tick free area requires approved tick treatment, supervised inspection and clearance certification from the Department of Agriculture and Food (DAFWA) before the movement. For more information see the Western Australian Government website on stock movements and ticks.

Victoria

To protect Victoria's livestock and livestock industries, there are controls on the introduction of livestock from other states and territories in Australia. These controls are governed by the Livestock Disease Control Act 1994. Prior to moving livestock into Victoria, owners must certify the health of their animals by completing prescribed certificates, vendor declarations and health statements and delivering these to the receiver of the livestock. These records must be kept for a specified period of time. For more information see the Victorian Government website on interstate livestock movements.

South Australia

All cattle moved to South Australia from interstate must have a National Livestock Identification System device and be accompanied by either a National Vendor Declaration (NVD's) or an Alternate Cattle Movement Waybill and have a National Cattle Health Declaration. A National Cattle Health Declaration is not needed if destined direct to slaughter or to reside on a property approved by the Chief Inspector of Stock. Copies of documents must be kept for 7 years. Livestock or livestock products affected or suspected of being affected with a notifiable disease must not be brought into or moved within the state without approval of the Chief Inspector of Stock. The owner and any person responsible for the animals or products must ensure that all movement conditions are met. Failure to do so may incur penalties or quarantine restrictions. For more information see the South Australian Government website on interstate movements of cattle.

Tasmania

Tasmania has placed controls over the importation of animals from other States or Territories. These controls are enacted under the Animal Health Act 1995. It is a condition of entry that all animals are healthy. Animals known to be in their final trimester of pregnancy, or showing signs of advanced pregnancy, should not be transported across Bass Strait. Animal welfare requirements for the transport of livestock across Bass Strait are outlined in the document Animal Welfare Guidelines - Transport of Livestock Across Bass Strait, including the Animal Welfare declaration that must be signed by the transporter and master of the vessel.

Animals and necessary paperwork must be presented for inspection upon arrival in Tasmania. For more information see the Tasmanian Government website on importing animals.