Valuing livestock

You are required to value your livestock at the end of each year as part of determining your net income from primary production.

You can choose to value livestock at cost, market selling value or replacement value. An additional option is available for certain horse breeding stock.

You may change the basis of valuation year by year. You may also use different valuation methods for different stock in the same year. However, the value of your opening livestock (at 1 July) each year must be the same as the value of your closing stock (at 30 June) for the previous year. That is, you must use the same valuation method at the beginning of the new income year as you used at the end of the previous income year.

Find out about special rules that apply to:

Small businesses – simplified trading stock rules

You do not have to value each item of trading stock (including livestock) on hand at the end of the income year or account for changes in the value of your trading stock if:

  • you are a small business
  • the difference between the value of all your trading stock at the start of the income year and the value you reasonably estimate of all your trading stock at the end of the income year is $5,000 or less.

However if you prefer, you can still conduct a stocktake and account for changes in the value of trading stock for the income year if the difference is $5,000 or less.

See also:

Goods taken from stock for private use

If you take goods from stock for your own use, or for the use of your family members, you are required to account for the goods as if the stock had been disposed of at its cost.

This includes the situation where a grazier kills livestock for personal consumption or for rations for employees.

Natural increase

The cost of an animal you hold as livestock that you acquired by natural increase is whichever of these you elect:

  • actual cost of the animal
  • cost prescribed by the regulations  
    • cattle, horses and deer – $20
    • pigs – $12
    • emus – $8
    • goats and sheep – $4
    • poultry – 35 cents.

A horse's livestock cost will be the greater of the above or the insemination service fee.

Oyster farmers

Oyster farmers are required to account for oysters on hand as trading stock. This includes oysters held on sticks or in trays, or harvested and held ready for sale.

See also:


If you are operating a beekeeping business for the purpose of honey production, you are required to account for bees on hand as trading stock. You may be eligible to use a simplified practice of valuing a live hive rather than accounting for the individual bees.

See also:

Last modified: 24 Aug 2016QC 42310