Branding and earmarking livestock

Due to the high volume of brand applications, the current time frame for processing applications is 45 working days. Applications are processed in the order they are received unless a request for urgent processing is included with the application. To avoid delays, please ensure your application is fully completed.

Branding is compulsory for some cattle and pigs when they are offered for sale in Queensland. When an animal is branded with a legally registered brand and earmarked, this can be used to establish legal ownership.

Livestock owners are responsible for registering brands and earmarks, and obtaining the branding iron and earmarking pliers. Owners must ensure that branding irons are made to the exact shape shown on the certificate of registration, and that only approved paints or pastes are used (in the case of pigs, sheep and goats).

Brands and earmarks are registered to an individual or entity, not a property, although earmarks are registered for use only within a particular district. Registration is not automatically transferred with a change of property ownership.

Only authorised people can possess and use registered brands and earmarks. Check with Biosecurity Queensland to ensure the brands and earmarks are registered in the correct name.

If you use a registered brand, you must submit an annual return by the end of January each year.

This guide includes information about branding and earmarking cattle, horses, sheep, goats and pigs, as well as cross branding rules.

Last reviewed
November 27, 2013

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