Nova Scotia Premises Identification (PID) Program - FAQ

1. What is a premises?

A premises is a parcel of land defined by a legal land description, or in its absence, by geo-referenced coordinates, upon any part of which, animals are grown, kept, assembled or disposed of. Premises include farms/hobby farms/stables, feedlots, pastures, community pastures, hatcheries, egg grading stations, abattoirs, assembly yards, auctions/livestock sale facilities, rendering plants, zoos/petting farms, exhibitions/fair grounds/race tracks/competition facilities, veterinary hospitals and labs, insemination units/embryo transfer facilities, livestock and poultry research facilities, carcass/deadstock disposal sites, and meat processing/storage facilities.

2. What animals are included?

For the purposes of premises identification, animals include: beef cattle, dairy cattle, bison, swine, wild boar, sheep, goats, llamas, alpacas, vicuna, horses, donkeys, mules, cervids, mink, fox, farmed rabbits, farmed chinchillas, broiler breeder pullets and layers, broiler chickens, laying bird breeding stock, layer pullets, layer chickens, breeder and meat turkeys, other farmed birds, purebred/fancier bird flocks, bees, aquaculture species, farmed wildlife species, and other farmed animals.

3. How much does it cost to register my premises?

There is no cost to participate in this program.

4. What is a premises identification (PID) number?

It is a unique number, based on national standards, that is assigned to a premises. In Nova Scotia, PID numbers start with NS and are followed by seven randomly generated numbers. Each premises will be issued a single premises identification number, regardless of the number of animal types or premises types on that parcel of land. All provinces in Canada will be assigning such numbers to their agri-food facility premises following the same national numbering standard.

5. Who must provide premises information?

Either the owner or operator (renter or lessee) of a land location may apply for a PID for a location. Land ownership must be indicated on the application and will be verified by provincial staff, but only one PID may be issued to any single parcel of land.

6. What information is required to complete a premises identification form?

Premises identification is a way of linking livestock and poultry to a geographic location for the purposes of responding to emergencies that threaten animal or public health. A premises is considered to be identified when the following information is complete, accurate and current:

  • Legal land description (property identification number)
  • Geo-coordinates
  • Land owner/Emergency contact information
  • Premises type (e.g. farm, community pasture, abattoir, etc.)
  • Animal type (all animals on the premises)
  • Maximum animal capacity for each animal type

7. Is premises identification mandatory in Nova Scotia?

Although premises identification is not mandatory in Nova Scotia, several livestock and poultry groups are utilizing premises identification in order to comply with traceability programs.

8. What are the benefits of premises identification?

Premises identification information allows Department of Agriculture staff to:

  • Notify premises owners of disease outbreaks in their vicinity  and recommend  biosecurity precautions to protect animal/human health
  • Determine which species are located in close proximity to a disease outbreak
  • Assist in other types of emergencies such as natural disasters (e.g. ice storms, hurricanes)
  • Respond in a rapid and informed manner when emergencies occur
  • Address all phases of emergency management (preparedness, prevention, response and recovery phases)
  • Reduce the impact of marketing restrictions by enabling quicker resolution of emergency situations

9. How will premises identification information be used?

The Government of Nova Scotia will use this information to help prevent, prepare for, respond to, and recover from federally- and provincially-reportable animal diseases, diseases of significance to animal or public health, natural disaster emergencies and other disasters. The information will only be used and shared for the purposes for which it was collected.

10. I don't want certain individuals or parties seeing my information. Who will have access to my information?

Your information is protected under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. It will only be used and shared for the purposes for which it was collected.

11. How do I receive confirmation of my premises identification number?

Once you have submitted your registration form and the information is processed, you will receive a letter which includes a summary of the information you submitted and the national premises identification number that has been assigned to your property.

12. How do I apply for a premises identification number?

It is easy to apply. You can find the application form on the web site at: Or you can obtain a hard copy by calling 902-956-2707 or by e-mail at

13. Do I need a premises identification number for each parcel of land I own (or operate) that has livestock or poultry?

If you participate in the PID Program, all premises housing livestock or poultry must be registered and assigned a premises identification number. Initially, land parcels used for pasture will be associated with the home location and may not be assigned a PID number. However, registering the premises on which the main animal operation is located should be your first priority.
For a premise registry to be effective, it should contain up-to-date information about all livestock and poultry locations throughout the province, including multiple parcels of land owned or operated by one operator. This way, responders are equipped with a superior emergency management tool.

14. If I sell a property, what happens to the premises identification number?

Once a premises is entered into the registry, the nine-digit unique premises ID number remains with this location, even following a change of ownership. A premises ID number will be retired only if the property is subdivided or consolidated and no longer used to house livestock and poultry.

15. What if there is more than one separate livestock enterprise at one location?

If there is more than one separate livestock enterprise at the same location, it is recommended that each operation is registered for the premises. There will only be one nine-digit unique PID number assigned to the location; however, emergency contact information, premises types and animal types may vary for each operation/facility/livestock type, and correct information should be provided for each.

16. I have converted my dairy farm to a poultry farm. Do I have to update my premises information?

Yes. Although the nine-digit unique PID number assigned to the location will remain the same, emergency contact information, premises types and animal types for your operation may have changed and must be updated.

17. How often do I need to update my premises information?

Land owners are asked to provide any changes to the premises information within 30 days of the change. You will also be contacted periodically by Department of Agriculture staff to confirm the accuracy of your information.

18. Do I still need to register my premises if there are (or will be) no animals on the property?

If you do not presently have animals on your premises but may have in future, or for part of the year, you will need to register your premises.
If you do not presently have animals and are certain that you will not be keeping animals in the future, you are not required to register your premises.