First published here

Three years ago, Nicholas Byrne-Quinn followed his life’s passion and established a Limousin stud in New South Wales’ Riverina region.

These days he regularly shows his cattle at both country and Royal shows across the country, even snatching 2023 Reserve Senior Champion Limousin Cow at last year’s Royal Melbourne Show with Myers Lady Star.

“I thoroughly love this job but it’s a 24/7 commitment, so it’s great to see results like that,” he said. “It’s both rewarding and challenging to be part of this fantastic industry – one that’s so important to this country.”

Watch as Nicholas explains how the National Livestock Identification System (NLIS) and electronic National Vendor Declarations (eNVDs) help make his life easier when he’s on the road taking his Limousin cattle to shows and exhibitions.

Getting show-ready – understanding national policy and state regulations

Requirements for agricultural shows differ according to state and territory legislation to ensure traceability, biosecurity and safety when moving and exposing livestock to other animals and the public.

However, there are a number of standards that must be adhered to in all circumstances:

  • An NVD or waybill must be completed for any movement of livestock off their Property Identification Code (PIC).
  • All livestock must be tagged with a NLIS accredited device before leaving a property.
  • An NLIS transfer must be completed for any movement of livestock off their PIC.
  • Any area housing livestock should have a PIC – including event sites.
  • Producers within the Livestock Production Assurance (LPA) program must uphold their accreditation and use an NVD or eNVD.

Please ensure you are following all national, state and event procedures when taking part in an agricultural exhibition.

Using the eNVD when you’re on the road

With many major agricultural shows and exhibitions happening across the country each year, it’s important that producers, exhibitors and livestock organisations meet their integrity requirements while transporting livestock between shows.

Nicholas spends many weekends on the road exhibiting his cattle around the country. Ensuring everything runs smoothly requires a lot of work and one thing that’s made his life easier are eNVDs.

“They are amazing. I honestly regard eNVDs as a super technology – they’re a real asset to the Australian red meat industry,” Nicholas said. “I can simply grab my phone and fill out the details online and I’m in business.”

“It doesn’t matter if I’m travelling through areas without internet coverage, because the app works offline. So, if I need to, I can quickly access records on my phone from shows I previously attended,” he said.

Staying on top of your biosecurity

As a livestock producer, Nicholas is well aware of the biosecurity practices needed to minimise the risk of infectious diseases during and after shows and events.

That’s something he’s especially conscious of given he’s often moving his livestock onto different show sites and regularly exposing them to other cattle.

“Australia’s integrity systems are world-class. They work together seamlessly and have a proven track record. If the unthinkable happened, all the relevant consignment and transfer details have been recorded and events can then be traced back,” he said. “That gives everyone in the red meat supply chain confidence, which is so important.”

But Nicholas says the system’s only as strong as the producers participating.

“As a producer, I know I need to do my bit. I need to be able to tick all the boxes to show I am up to date with all my integrity records. If we all do that, we are all protecting the industry and our livelihoods. It’s not hard to do but has big returns for all of us.”

Maintaining traceability through the NLIS

Nicholas’ cattle are on the move day in and day out, so the traceability provided by the NLIS is invaluable.

“Knowing where my cattle are all the time is number one for me. All it takes is a quick scan of the cattle ear tags as we go in and out of shows, the saleyards, or livestock-producing properties,” he said.

“And because that ear tag remains with one animal its whole life, its complete history, such as where it was born, previous owners or animal health treatments – are all at your fingertips.”

“The system really works – it provides breeders like me with an assurance that my stock and livelihood is adequately protected, which means I can get on with the business of improving, growing and showing my herd.”