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Branding and earmarking livestock

Due to significant numbers of applications being received, fully completed applications will be processed within 50 working days of arrival at Licencing Transaction Unit. Fully completed applications will be processed in the order received.

Incomplete applications will be returned for completion and resubmitting.

Branding is compulsory for cattle and pigs when they are offered for sale in Queensland. Exemptions apply for approved stud cattle sales and calves under 100kg liveweight. 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 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.