Friday, 24 July 2009

Property Identification Codes Information

Some time ago we obtained via application to the local Livestock Health and Pest Authority (at that time it was known as the Forbes Rural Lands Protection Board) a Property Identification Code (PIC) for Ochre Arch. This was done in the context of compliance legislation essentially designed to give protection to the end consumers of agricultural products.

Background to Property Identification Codes

To quote from the NSW Department of Primary Industries website:

“In NSW a Property Identification Code (PIC) is assigned by Livestock Health & Pest Authorities for the purpose of identifying land used for agricultural purposes. Livestock Health & Pest Authorities also maintain PIC registers which keep information related to PICs up to date. Producers usually pay a fee for this service, or the service is covered by the rates paid by the producer.

Normally each property has its own PIC; however, one PIC may be used for more than one property provided the properties are used for a common purpose and are proximate.

PICs are fundamental to the operation and integrity of the National Livestock Identification System (NLIS) for cattle, sheep, goats and pigs. The PIC provides traceability to specific properties. Every livestock producer should have a PIC because:

  • the PIC is printed on approved livestock identifiers;
  • the PICs are recorded with every cattle movement;
  • the PIC is recorded on stock movement documents;
  • a PIC is required for industry quality assurance programs, e.g. Livestock Production Assurance (LPA) & Australian Pork Industry Quality (APIQ) programs;
  • an National Vendor Declaration (NVD) or PigPass is required for each consignment of slaughter stock.

Property Identification Code Formats

The identification code format comprises eight characters. The first two characters are letters and the last six characters are numbers.

With PICs for properties/holdings, travelling stock reserves, public land and public roads the:

  • 1st character: State code. The default state code is ‘N’ (for NSW).
  • 2nd character: Check letter, between A and K. The check digit is calculated according to an algorithm, allowing computer programs to automatically check whether the data entry is correct and the code is valid.
  • 3rd and 4th characters: District number. This number identifies the Rural Lands Protection District in which the property principally lies.
  • 5th to 8th characters: Property number, assigned in sequential order from ‘0001’ to ‘9999’.”
Compliance requirements for meat exported to Europe
To quote from our latest Lachlan Livestock Health and Pest Authority newsletter:
"Half way through last year a small group arrived in Australia from Europe". They were Eurpoean Community auditors and "their purpose was to check the standards of our compliance with sheep identification. The Eurpoeans insist that we are able to trace every sheep from the point where the carcase commences breakup, back to the last property that this sheep came from."

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