Taking Horses to the Show?.... You need a PIC!
It’s show time across much of the Northern Tablelands and if you’re taking a horse off to the local show, you will need a Property Identification Code or PIC.
"The aim of the PIC system is to help trace back the source and contain the potential spread of an outbreak of a disease such as horse flu or Hendra virus," explained Northern Tablelands Local Land Services District Veterinarian, Nigel Brown.
According to Clause 37 of the Stock Diseases Regulation 2009 it is a requirement in NSW for owners of livestock such as cattle, horses, sheep and goats to have a Property Identification Code (PIC) when trading or moving these livestock.
A PIC is also required for other livestock including alpacas, llamas, and pigs if they are transported to a show or competition.
"The chance of a serious disease spreading increases during the show season when horses and other livestock are congregating in a small area like the local showground," said Dr Brown.
"Show societies have been required to upgrade their health and disease control measures, and collecting PIC data is part of this process to help with disease trace back."
The NSW Department of Primary Industries advises that all livestock owners, managers and occupiers of land that carries cattle, sheep, goats, pigs, bison, buffalo, deer, camelids, equines (i.e. horses and donkeys), more than 99 poultry, or more than 9 emus or ostriches, must have a Property Identification Code, regardless of whether the livestock are moved or not.
"Most properties already have a PIC, so it’s simply a matter of having that number handy to add to your entry registration or other paperwork," advised Dr Brown.
"For small landholdings that may not have a PIC, an application can be made to your nearest Local Land Services office for a new Property Identification Code."
Application forms can also be found online at www.lls.nsw.gov.au/livestock/pics or phone Local Land Services on 02 6832 8800.
Animals crossing into NSW from the tick fever zone in QLD to compete on the show circuit also need to have the correct paperwork indicating they have been inspected or treated as necessary.
"Tick fever does not affect horses but can be fatal to cattle," said Dr Brown.
"Ticks can crawl into rugs, tack and hay dumped on the ground for even a few minutes, so it’s very important that the correct precautions are taken to ensure horses coming in from the tick fever zone don’t bring cattle ticks into NSW," stated Dr Brown.
"Local shows and other livestock competitions are important social events for country people. Taking sensible precautions to prevent disease spread, and cooperating with competition organisers in the collection of PIC data will ensure the show tradition continues to thrive on the Northern Tablelands."
For more information about PICs or animal health contact your nearest Northern Tablelands Local Land Services office in Armidale, Glen Innes, Inverell, or Tenterfield or visit the website at northerntablelands.lls.nsw.gov.au.