Mandatory registration for SA horse properties

December 24, 2010

Properties in South Australia which run horses need to be registered with the Property Identification Code (PIC) scheme from January 1.

The inclusion of horses to the PIC scheme is part of a national agreement to maintain a register of the locations of livestock. Included in the scheme are cattle, sheep, pigs, goats, deer, alpacas, donkeys, mules, camels and llamas.

Registration in the scheme costs $A76. Where multiple blocks are owned by the same owner within an 80km radius of the home property, and run as one enterprise, only one fee applies. The fee covers most of the cost to Biosecurity SA in managing the PIC database.

New South Wales, Victoria, Western Australia, Tasmania, the Northern Territory and Queensland already have similar programs in place. Victoria recently extended Property Identification Codes for livestock to include horses.

Biosecurity SA Executive Director Will Zacharin says Property Identification Codes have been sought by livestock industries and the horse community for some years.

"The extension of the PIC scheme will improve the protection of animals and markets from exotic diseases and other emergencies such as bushfires and floods," he said.

"This will better inform us of the whereabouts of livestock and horse properties to strengthen our capability in preventing and responding to future animal health emergencies. It will also reduce the impact of exotic diseases such as foot and mouth disease and equine influenza, if an outbreak were to occur."

The Productivity Commission found a major foot and mouth disease outbreak could cost Australia more than $9 billion in lost export earnings, over an eight year period, and reduce Australia's Gross Domestic Product by $8-13 billion.

All states are moving to mandate Property Identification Codes, with Victoria recently extending PICs for livestock to include horses.

In SA it is currently voluntary for properties with livestock, except deer, to be registered. However a PIC is needed by cattle, sheep, goat and pig owners for the sale and trade of these animals.

From 1 January 2011, SA properties with one or more livestock (including horses, cattle, sheep, pigs, goats, deer, alpacas, donkeys, mules, camels and llamas), will need to register with Biosecurity SA and obtain a PIC. This applies to all properties where these animals are kept, including rural, peri-urban and suburban properties.

Representatives of local livestock and horse sectors, including the South Australian Farmers Federation, have shown support for the new PIC system.

A $76 two year registration fee applies to obtain a PIC, which covers most of the cost to Biosecurity SA in managing the registration process and database.