Why is an NVD a movement record, but a movement record is not the NVD?

Rachael O’Brien, Manager Biosecurity & Extension, Queensland

There is much to think about when we talk about transporting or moving livestock. Perhaps the furthest from our minds are the legal aspects of what we need to do to send livestock off our properties, that is the legislation that surrounds traceability of livestock in Australia.

In Australia we have laws around traveling livestock because of the risks involved. These laws ensure that information about livestock travel is captured and stored in a usable way. This is called traceability – but most know it as the National Livestock Identification System. Traceability systems are used in two fundamental ways – they promote our marketing strategies of our products and underpin our strong ability to respond to any emergency animal disease threats.

There are two elements that fall under the banner of traceability. That is our movement records and the NLIS.

My colleague Bonnie Skinner has developed a table for producers to use as a guide in terms of the NLIS requirements that livestock producers have but I would like to talk more on movement records.

In all states you are legally required to make out a movement record when moving certain species of livestock. Failure to do so may result in prosecution and or a fine under the legislation you have contravened. State legislation can vary in terms of how we describe the required information or what document or technology is able to be used, but the fundamental information categories that we need to capture is the same.

Moving livestock interstate is treated differently to moving livestock within your state due to the different risks associated. In some states there is a requirement for you to use a specific document when entering that state from another. This is mostly because that state wants specific information about your animals that might not necessary be on national documents, including information about specific diseases or pests that are not established there. If you intend to move livestock into another state it is always sound advice to contact the destination state for the most up-to-date information on what is required. The documents that you must use are available to all producers and are usually housed on each state’s website. Alternatively you can contact the relevant state department for a copy.

Even in the instance there is no specific interstate document required or if you are moving livestock within your state, you may still need a movement record. Needing a movement record depends on the species you are moving and the state you reside in. An easy way to remember who needs paperwork and who doesn’t is to think about NLIS tags. If you have put a tag in its ear then it needs a movement record. If the species you are moving is considered to be livestock then its best to check with your relevant state authority on its movement requirements. Horses are a good example, horses are considered livestock and also need paperwork in some instances depending on the state you live in. Traceability legislation is also applicable to pet livestock.

Most producers depending on the state you reside in may know a movement record as: a Transport Stock Statement (NSW); a Movement Record (Qld); a Northern Territory Entry Certificate and Waybill or a Northern Territory Waybill (NT); a plain waybill, a permit (WA); a movement waybill (SA); or PigPass (All states). LPA accredited producers will also be familiar with the National Vendor Declaration (NVD) which constitutes as a movement record in all Australian states (Note you may still need interstate paperwork on top of your NVD when moving between states).

Industry market pathways

Underneath the level of legislation managed by state governments, we then have livestock industry systems. These are managed by the respective peak body council – not the government – and are a positive thing. Industry systems promote a standard of management that helps to build consumer confidence to keep the sale of livestock products profitable.

This is where the Livestock Production Assurance program becomes instrumental. The Livestock Production Assurance (LPA) program is the industry’s on-farm assurance program covering food safety, animal welfare and biosecurity. It provides evidence of livestock history and on-farm practices when buying, selling or transporting livestock.

For producers who are part of LPA, the LPA NVD is required for all livestock movements, including to other properties, via saleyards, when headed to processors, feedlots or being exported live.

The LPA NVD underpins Australia’s global reputation as a reliable supplier of safe red meat. For more information on LPA NVDs and to access the latest version of NVDs visit, click here.

Our markets that require an NVD specifically are markets where consumer confidence relies on information around food safety – thus to protect these markets LPA has a Quality Assurance program in place. Producers who choose to become LPA accredited commit to carrying out on-farm practices which provide the assurance and support the integrity of the system.

A non LPA accredited producer can still move animals around Australia or within their state using another form of a movement record, but they cannot access the markets that demand an NVD. To access these types of markets a producer must meet the standards of the rest of the industry that currently sell into these markets.

Do they need a movement record?

Cattle Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Goats Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Sheep Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Deer Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Buffalo Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Banteng Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Horses Yes No No No No No No
Pigs Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes