October 4, 2019

Which year is that ear tag colour again?

In Australia you must tag your sheep a certain way to help maintain Australia's biosecurity system.

Visual NLIS tags

When the animal is on the property of birth, use the NLIS tag colour coded to the year of birth. Placed in the right ear for females and left ear for males.

Mobble's sheep tag colour selector from their Livestock Farm Management Software

The year of birth colour system has eight colours (black, white, orange, light green, purple, yellow, red, sky blue). Each colour is connected to a year on a rolling cycle, starting with the colour black and ending with sky blue. Pink is used for post-breeder tags to show which sheep have been brought onto the property from a different owner or PIC.

Right ear for females and left ear for males and the pink brought onto property tag

If using visual tags, when sheep are sold, the new owner must apply an additional pink NLIS tag. This tag must have their brand or PIC imprinted and placed in the ear opposite the coloured tag (which is generally the earmark ear).

Future sheep ear tag colours

Future sheep tag colours
  • 2012 - Purple
  • 2013 - Yellow
  • 2014 - Red
  • 2015 - Sky blue
  • 2016 - Black
  • 2017 - White
  • 2018 - Orange
  • 2019 - Light green
  • 2020 - Purple
  • 2021 - Yellow
  • 2022 - Red
  • 2023 - Sky blue
  • 2024 - Black
  • 2025 - White
  • 2026 - Orange
  • 2027 - Light green
  • 2028 - Purple
  • 2029 - Yellow
  • 2030 - Red

This information was sourced from the Western Australian Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development website.

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