Branding and earmarking livestock

Branding and earmarking submissions

When applying for a brand, you must consider the following:

  • We prefer to process applications electronically as this results in faster process times.
  • All brand and earmark applications should be emailed to
  • Note: We will not receive posted applications as fast as electronically submitted applications.
  • For security reasons, credit card details must not be entered on the application form.
  • Once a fully completed application form is received by the Licensing Transaction Unit (LTU), we will accept it into the processing system.
  • Applications will be processed in order of arrival at LTU.
  • A staff member will call you to process fee payments via a secured line when they are ready to begin processing your application.
  • Currently there is an 80 working day turnaround period for processing fully completed applications.
  • A branding exemption is currently in place and cattle producers are not required to brand cattle with a live weight in excess of 100kg before sale.

Branding is compulsory for cattle and pigs when they are offered for sale in Queensland. A temporary branding exemption is currently in place and producers are not required to brand cattle with a live weight in excess of 100kg before sale. Exemptions remain unchanged for approved stud cattle sales and calves under 100kg live weight.

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 entity, not a property. Earmarks are registered for use only within a particular district and 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.

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

Note: If cattle are taken directly to slaughter from another state or territory, they may be exempt from branding requirements if they:

  • have been purchased over the scales at the feedlot in Queensland
  • are kept at a registered cattle feedlot in Queensland until they are slaughtered.

Interstate cattle sold live in Queensland must still be branded.