Buying my first cattle

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Buying my first cattle

Hi all,

          I am fairly new to this farming game, so go easy on me if I ask some basic farming questions. Not long ago I purchased a few acreas (big to me but a hobby farm to most) and am now looking to buy my first cattle. A local that I met down at the pub said that I need a PIC number if I want to buy cattle? Can someone tell my what is a PIC and if I need it, even though I only want to buy a few head of cattle? Any other farm advice would be appreciated.


charlie's picture
Last seen: 2 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: 31/05/2011 - 9:44am


No small farming question is too basic here at FarmStyle, we are all here to learn together. 

All farms, including small and hobby farms require a Property Identification Code (PIC) if they intedn to run cattle, goats, sheep or pigs. The PIC is an eight digit code allocated by the relevant government authority (Livestock Health and Pest Authority takes care of this in NSW) to identify a livestock producing property.

Usually each farm has its own PIC; however, one PIC may be used for more than one property provided the farms are used for a common purpose and are close together. 

A PIC can take up to a few weeks to be alloted, the PIC must be obtained before you buy and sell 'any' livestock.

To see if your farm (in NSW) has a PIC allocated contact the LHPA by, clicking here. If there is no PIC allocated to your farm click here, to apply for an identification code.


ianmcconnel's picture
Last seen: 6 years 7 months ago
Joined: 13/12/2011 - 12:50pm

As an extension officer, I get asked this one a lot.  Yes you will need a PIC, this number will be used to trace the cattle under the National Livestock Identification (NLIS) system. As already answered, they are allocated by the local state authority. You will need to provide proof of ownership of the land or an agreement from the landowner to to apply for one.

Once you have a PIC, it is worth having a chat to your local stock inspector to get an idea of the other records and information you will need to know. When you receive cattle they should come with a National Vendor Declaration (NVD) and waybill that outlines the details of the animals and the recent treatments they have had, these need to kept for a certain amount of time. It will also be your responsibility as the receiver of the animals to update the NLIS database that the animals are on your property- usually an agent will do this for you, but if you buy the animals direct you will need to do it or organise it.

other than that, you are in for a lot of fun!!



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