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 Pest and Disease 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 (don't send an imported ruminant for processing into pet food as this is illegal)
  • you home-kill any animals
  • MPI ear tags are lost or become hard to read (for replacement tags for cattle, buffaloes, and deer, contact one of the manufacturers of NAIT tags. You must notify MPI of new NAIT tags within 7 days of tagging)
  • animals are sold or their ownership changes
  • an animals' location changes
  • your contact details change
  • an animal goes missing.

Find where to buy NAIT tags

Read about home-killing imported ruminant animals

Call the hotline – 0800 80 99 66

The easiest way to notify MPI of an event that must be reported is to call our hotline on 0800 80 99 66.

The operator will record your:

  • name
  • phone number
  • address
  • email address
  • the species of animal involved
  • the description of the event
  • the animal’s MPI ear tag number. 

Annual status report

Each year in May, MPI will send you an Annual Status Report (ASR) with details of your imported ruminants. Complete the ASR and return it in the postage-paid envelope by 30 June of that year.

If you don't submit the ASR on time, MPI will do a full audit of your farm. This normally takes about 5 hours to complete. You won't be charged for the audit.

It is an offence to:

  • not supply the ASR to MPI
  • provide false or misleading information to MPI.

Ruminant animals from imported embryos

If you own cattle, buffaloes, sheep, goats, or deer that originated from imported embryos, you must keep 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, including the name and address of the new and former owners
  • the date the animal dies or is slaughtered.

Find out more

For more information about the reporting obligations:

Pamphlet on reporting obligations for owners of imported ruminants [PDF, 377 KB]


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

Who to contact

For more information on the reporting obligations for imported ruminant animals, email

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