There are rules you must follow for identifying and moving buffalo and related livestock into, around and out of the Northern Territory (NT).

Property identification code

You must have an NT property identification code (PIC) if you keep buffalo, regardless of the size of your property, the number you have, or if they are pets.

Read how to get a PIC for your property.

Identifying and branding animals

Buffaloes must be identified under the National Livestock Identification System (NLIS) before they are moved from their property of origin.

Radio-frequency identification

Buffalo can be fitted with a radio-frequency identification (RFID) device to track their movements.

The owner of the property of origin is responsible for making sure all animals are fitted with RFID.

The PIC of origin and destination will be reported in the NLIS database. This is the responsibility of the owner at the place of destination.

Transaction tags

Before moving buffalo you can attach a transaction tag with serial number to their ear.

The tag should include a PIC of the property where it was applied.

The serial numbers will be recorded on the waybill.

The tags must remain in the ear of the buffalo. For further movements another tag will need to be applied.


Buffaloes do not need branding by law in the NT.

The owner can use an NT-registered brand if they choose but this is not essential.

Read more about branding and identifying livestock and NLIS in the NT.

Moving buffalo

There are rules for moving buffalo around, into, out of, and through the NT.

You must be aware of and comply with the rules so that livestock are moved according to disease control and animal welfare requirements.

Read more about NT waybills and moving and exporting livestock.

Read more about livestock welfare and land transport standards.


To find out more about rules for buffalo contact a livestock biosecurity officer.


You can get NT Government publications about diseases, treatment and general management of buffalo.

They are provided as general information only and you should get specific professional advice for your particular situation.

The NT Government are not responsible for any loss, expense, damage or injury that results from using this information.

The publications listed below and other information can be accessed through the Department of Primary Industry and Resources' online publications library.

Buffalo diseases and treatments

Abattoir traceback - cattle granulomas PDF (59.3 KB)
Acaricide (chemical) resistance in cattle ticks PDF (570.0 KB)
Obstructive urolithiasis (bladder stones) in cattle PDF (286.8 KB)
Chemical products available for the control of buffalo fly PDF (2.4 MB)
Cattle ticks PDF (258.5 KB)
Cattle feeding restrictions to prevent mad cow disease PDF (286.2 KB)
Three-day sickness or ephemeral fever PDF (40.6 KB)

Buffalo management

The Australian water buffalo manual  PDF (1.3 MB)
Breaking in water buffalo to lead PDF (46.5 KB)
Water buffalo handling: general principles PDF (54.6 KB)
Water buffalo handling: on-farm considerations PDF (97.0 KB)
Water buffalo handling: transport to the abattoir PDF (73.4 KB)
Management of orphaned or weaned buffalo calves PDF (37.9 KB)
Weaning water buffalo calves PDF (89.8 KB)
Water buffalo farming in southern Australia PDF (72.2 KB)
TenderBuff guidelines for production PDF (452.3 KB)
Management of Australian water buffalo in South East Asian cattle feedlots - English  PDF (8.3 MB)
Management of Australian water buffalo in South East Asian cattle feedlots - Vietnamese  PDF (10.0 MB)

Last updated: 04 February 2020

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