The Queensland Government is now in caretaker mode until after the state election. Minimal updates will be made to this site until after the election results are declared.

Sheep and goats - earmarking

Coronavirus (COVID-19): Brands application process update

Due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) lockdown there are some changes to the brands application process.

  • Currently only horse and cattle three-piece brand applications and pig brand applications, are being processed. You should delay lodging applications for symbol brands or earmarks, until after the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • All brand and earmark applications must be emailed to For security reasons, credit card details must not be entered on the application form.
  • Once the application form is received, licensing and transaction staff will phone applicants to process fee payments via a secured line.
  • Applications may take up to 80 working days to progress.
  • Do not post applications as they will not be received by processing staff.
  • A branding exemption is in place and cattle producers are not required to brand cattle with a live weight in excess of 100kg before sale. The exemption will apply until the end of the COVID-19 pandemic.

To legally use brands or earmarks on sheep and goats in Queensland you must submit an application and pay the correct fee.

Earmarking requirements

Earmarks must be placed in the off (right) ear of a male animal and the near (left) ear of a female. All earmarks must be made using pliers and must not remove more than one-third of the ear.

It is illegal to use any instrument (e.g. a knife) other than earmarking pliers for earmarking.

View the shapes and patterns of sheep earmarks.

Age or class marks

Any owner of a registered sheep and goat brand or earmark may use any number of distinctive marks to denote the age or class of their sheep or goats. However, these marks must not be made on the same ear as the registered sheep earmark. They also must not be, in the opinion of the Registrar or a Stock Inspector, similar to or readily convertible into any sheep earmark registered and used in the same locality.

Also consider...