Reporting obligations for imported ruminant animals

Owners of ruminant animals (cattle, buffaloes, sheep, goats, and deer) imported live or originating from imported embryos must meet the reporting obligations for the life of the animal.

Legal obligations

Reporting obligations for owners of imported ruminants come under the Biosecurity (Imported Animals, Embryos, and Semen Information) Regulations 1999.

The reporting obligations do not apply to the offspring of imported ruminant animals.

Reporting a death by disease or illness

You must report to MPI within 4 hours if a live imported ruminant animal dies of disease or is put down due to illness.

Call MPI's 24-hour Exotic Disease and Pest Emergency Hotline: 0800 80 99 66.

Other reporting requirements

For live imported ruminant animals, you must report to MPI within 7 days if:

  • you send any animals to be slaughtered
  • you home-kill any animals
  • MPI ear tags are lost or become hard to read (doesn't apply to National Animal Identification & Tracing, or NAIT, tags)
  • animals are sold or their ownership changes 
  • animals' location changes
  • your contact details change
  • an animal goes missing.

Call the imported farm animals freephone: 0800 62 35 55

The easiest way to notify MPI of an event required under the regulations is by calling the freephone number on 0800 62 35 55.

Follow the freephone’s voice prompts to leave a message and your contact details. An MPI staff member will contact you when required.

Annual visits

Once a year, an MPI staff member will visit your farm at a pre-arranged date to physically verify the status of your imported farm animals. We need to have up-to-date contact details for you so that we can arrange these visits.

During the visit, the MPI staff member will get you to complete an Annual Status Report. You'll need to have the animals adequately restrained so their ear tags can be checked.

Ruminant animals from imported embryos

If you own cattle, buffaloes, sheep, goats, or deer that originated from imported embryos, you must keep the records for 7 years. You don't need to submit the records but, if requested, you must make them available to MPI within 48 hours.

Records must include:

  • the animal's date of birth, sex, species,  and breed or type
  • the place where the animal is kept
  • the animal's on-farm identification
  • any change in ownership of the animal, and the name and address of the new owner and former owner
  • the date the animal dies or is slaughtered.

Find out more

For more information about the reporting obligations:

Download the pamphlet on reporting obligations for owners of imported ruminants [PDF, 2.5 MB]


There are penalties for not complying with the requirements of the Imported Ruminants Regulations 1999. The maximum fine is $5,000 for individuals and $15,000 for corporations.

Who to contact

For more information about the Imported Ruminants Regulations 1999, email either or

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