Sheep and goats

This page has information for people who want to keep sheep or goats in the Northern Territory (NT).

Property identification codes

If you keep sheep or goats on your property, or move them into or out of the NT, you will need a property identification code (PIC).

Read about how to get a PIC.

Bringing sheep into the NT

Sheep are prohibited animals in the NT due to the presence of blue tongue virus in the Top End and its potential impact on the livestock industry.

You must get written permission from the chief inspector of livestock, and meet all other requirements, if you want to bring sheep into the NT.

Importing and moving sheep

There are livestock movement rules for sheep being moved 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.

Bluetongue virus

Bluetongue is a viral infection spread by midges. It has been found in northern areas of the NT since the 1970s. Although it can infect cattle, there have been no reported symptoms in cattle in Australia. 

Infected stock can suffer severe illness and there is a high risk of infection for sheep in the NT.

Damara sheep and bluetongue virus

The South African damara sheep breed does not develop bluetongue disease from the current strain of the virus. All other sheep breeds may be at risk of infection and disease and must not be brought into the NT except for slaughter - see below.

The chief inspector of livestock may issue permits to import purebred damara sheep from other states under certain conditions. Before taking any action you must contact the principal livestock regulatory officer - contact details below.

Sheep for slaughter

In the dry season, other breeds may be brought into the NT under permit for slaughter. Before importing sheep you must contact the principal livestock regulatory officer - contact details below.

Transport standards

You must follow livestock welfare and land transport standards during transport and for all movements of sheep.

The standards detail when sheep must not be loaded, acceptable transport vehicles and facilities, appropriate loading and unloading methods, allowable time off food and water and journey spelling. You can be fined if you do not adhere to the standards.

Further information and contacts

For enquiries about sheep importation contact the principal livestock regulatory officer at Animal Biosecurity on (08) 8999 2031.

Goats

Australia is the world's largest exporter of goat meat. There is increasing interest in goat production in the NT. 

Moving goats

You must fill in an NT waybill if you want to move goats off the property where they are kept in the NT.

Read more about NT waybills and moving and exporting livestock.

Health and management

You need good management practices to successfully farm goats in the NT.

Goats are susceptible to worms and can be resistant to worm drench treatments. An effective drenching program is essential.

For more information about raising goats in the NT, read the following:

Last updated: 13 October 2017