What you need to know about regulated livestock movement in Western Australia.
The movement of livestock in Western Australia is heavily regulated, with a mandatory livestock ownership, identification, and movement reporting system. The regulatory emphasis on stock traceability is aimed at maintaining access to export markets, and to allow stock to be traced for disease and to deter stock theft.
The Department of Agriculture and Food, Western Australia (Department) regulates livestock identification and movement within and into WA.
All livestock owners within WA must be registered with the Department and their stock identified in accordance with the Biosecurity and Agriculture Management (Identification and Movement of Stock and Apiaries) Regulations 2013 (BAM Regulations). Livestock includes buffalo, cattle, deer, goats, horses, ostrich, pigs, alpaca, llama, and vicuna, whether they are commercial animals or pets.
On registration the Department allocates a property identification code (PIC) to the owner to indicate who owns the animals and where they are kept. Any person purchasing livestock must have a PIC for the property where they intend to keep the livestock.
The BAM Regulations also require the use of the National Livestock Identification System (NLIS) which is a whole-of-life identification system that enables animals to be tracked from property of birth to slaughter.
Each species has its own identification requirements, consisting of a stock brand, earmark or tattoo, and an age by which time stock should be identified. Alternative identification systems may be approved on application to the Department. All movement of livestock to a property with a different PIC must be recorded on the NLIS database.
Under the BAM Regulations it is mandatory for appropriate documentation to accompany any livestock (except horses) whenever they leave a property. This applies to livestock that are dead or alive.
This documentation may be a waybill, national vendor declaration (NVD) waybill, pig pass, or permit, as required, and must show where the movement commenced and finished, including the PIC of both properties.
Waybill books are available from the Department’s district offices. They are used when an NVD is not required, such as the transportation of an animal to the vet or to an agricultural show. An NVD waybill is a combined form that records stock movements and additional information about the food safety and health status of the stock, and is required when livestock are moved for sale, export, or slaughter.
A permit may be obtained from a stock inspector of the Department when stock do not have the correct identification and need to be moved. A permit allows movement to a place where the livestock may be safely identified, movement for slaughter, or movement for sale for slaughter only.
If an owner is moving their livestock between their properties listed under the one PIC, they can carry their PIC card or a full copy of it in place of a waybill. The properties need to be listed on the card and the livestock must be identified or registered to that PIC.
It is the responsibility of the person who owns or manages the property from which the livestock is leaving (not livestock carriers) to provide a waybill, NVD, or permit as required. This may not be the owner of the livestock if an on-farm sale has occurred. It is the responsibility of the saleyard operator to provide the waybill or equivalent for stock being moved from a saleyard.
The NVD or waybill must be completed in triplicate and all copies kept for seven years. The original must accompany the livestock and be handed to the consignee or recipient of the stock, the carrier retains the first copy, and the second copy remains with the consigning owner.
A breach of the BAM Regulations typically attracts a fine of $2,000 to $5,000, although the penalty for altering, or the unauthorised use or placement of, an approved animal identifier is a fine of up to $20,000.
The information published in this paper is of a general nature and should not be construed as legal advice. Whilst we aim to provide timely, relevant and accurate information, the law may change and circumstances may differ. You should not therefore act in reliance on it without first obtaining specific legal advice.