Rural Lands Protection Boards (RLPBs) are encouraging hobby and other small area farmers to apply for a Property Identification Code (PIC) which for a limited time can be obtained free of charge.
PICs are unique eight character numbers which RLPBs assign to properties for the purpose of tracing livestock that may be affected by disease or chemical residues. State Council of RLPBs Animal Health Manager, Stephen Ottaway, said although PICs are not mandatory they are fundamental to the operation and integrity of the National Livestock Identification System (NLIS) for cattle, sheep, goats and pigs. “Australia is a world leader in disease control and the PIC system is an important part of safeguarding market access by providing a mechanism for tracing stock to specific properties and recording their movements.
“A PIC is printed on approved stock identifiers including NLIS devices for cattle, ear tags for sheep and goats and swine brands for pigs. “It is also required to obtain National Vendor Declarations (NVDs) under industry quality assurance programs such as Livestock Production Assurance and Australian Pork Industry Quality programs,” Stephen Ottaway said.
“Many hobby farms, smaller holdings and properties not rateable by RLPBs do not have PICs and we hope this free offer will encourage the owners and occupier of these properties to register. “No matter how small your property, all landholders can be affected in the event of an exotic animal disease outbreak. “PICs allow RLPBs to access accurate stock information quickly and easily to help contain the spread of disease and minimise the impacts,” Stephen Ottaway said.
Normally each property has its own PIC however a single PIC can be used for more than one property provided they are adjoining or nearby and are managed as a single entity. For a limited time free PICs can be obtained by calling your local Rural Lands Protection Board. Renewal fees may be payable in the future.
The free PIC enhancement project is being funded by the Commonwealth Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry.
For further information visit www.rlpb.org.au