Branding pigs

Pigs of 30kg or more (live weight) must bear the owners registered brand (tattoo) before being sold in Queensland.

This registered tattoo must be applied to both sides of the pig using an approved applicator and approved fluid/paste. You can purchase approved applicators, pins and approved fluid/paste from most stock and station agents, after receiving your registration certificate.

Brands can be used to establish legal ownership of pigs and pig carcasses.

A pig brand is registered for use only in a specified pig district and initially at a property indicated by the applicant. Registered brands can be used to establish legal ownership of pigs and pig carcasses.

The Queensland pig tattoo code has 4 characters (a number followed by 3 letters):

  • first number is a 4, matching the state postcode
  • next letter represents the district or shires in which the property is located
  • last 2 letters identify the owner of the brand and the property on which the pigs are kept.

The tattoo must be the same shape as those shown on the registration certificate. The face depth must be between 12mm and 25mm and the space between characters must be 12mm or less.

Brand exemptions

You do not need to sale brand your pigs if:

  • you own only 1 or 2 pigs
  • the pigs weigh less than 30kg (live weight)
  • they are resold within 7 days of you purchasing provided they bear the previous owner's registered brand.

How to register a pig brand

Your brand must be registered before you can legally use it in Queensland.

Branding and earmarking submissions

You must consider the following submissions information when applying for a brand or earmark:

  • there is a temporary COVID-19 branding exemption in place for cattle producers – you are not required to brand cattle for sale
  • submit your applications electronically so that we receive them quicker and can process them faster
  • email all brand and earmark applications to brands@daf.qld.gov.au
  • do not enter credit card details on the application form for security reasons
  • when your fully completed application form is received by the Licensing Transaction Unit, we will accept it into the processing system
  • applications will be processed in order of arrival
  • when we are ready to begin processing your application, we will phone you to process the fee payment(s) via a secure line
  • there is an 80 working day turnaround period for processing fully completed applications.

Applying for a pig brand

You must submit your application for a pig brand and pay the correct fee.

When applying, you must include the property identification code (PIC) allocated by Biosecurity Queensland for the property where the pigs are to be kept. Properties with 1 or more pigs must be registered with a PIC.

You will be allocated a registered pig brand suitable for your location and pig brand district.

Applications are processed in the order we receive them and within 10 working days.

We will return incomplete applications and you will need to resubmit once you have completed it.

Find manufacturers and suppliers of branding tools.

Changing pig brand ownership

You have to transfer a brand or earmark when:

  • the company that owns the registered brand or earmark is dissolved
  • a part owner is added or removed
  • ownership of the brand changes.

Apply to transfer ownership

Before submitting your application form to transfer a brand or earmark, you must ensure:

  • all signatures have been witnessed by a justice of the peace, solicitor, barrister, legal practitioner or commissioner for declaration – they must also state their position(s) on the form
  • all current registered owners have signed the form
  • all new owners have signed the form
  • if an owner is deceased, the executor or administrator of their estate has signed the form, and stated their capacity as executor or administrator
  • if the owner is a company, the company secretary and director has signed, or 2 directors, or a sole director – they must also state their position(s) on the form
  • the correct fee is included with your transfer form.

You must also provide any necessary documents with your transfer form, if:

  • someone holds a power of attorney – forward a copy of the power of attorney document
  • a brand is being transferred to a trust – provide a copy of the trust papers.

Transferring pig brands

A pig brand will only be transferred if it is to be used in the same district it was originally registered. If the pig brand is to be used in a different district, it will be cancelled and you will need to apply for a pig brand in the new district.

Submit your annual pig brand return

If you own a registered pig brand, you must complete a brands return in January every year.

If you do not submit a return for 3 consecutive years, your brand may be cancelled.

Before submitting, registered owners should check their registration details are correct by using the DAF Brands database (iBrands) and searching My Brands.

When brand or earmark details are unchanged

If your details haven't changed, you may submit your return by 1 of these methods:

For further assistance, contact the Customer Service Centre on 13 25 23 ((07) 3404 6999 for interstate callers).

When your details have changed

If your details have changed, use the DAF Brands database (iBrands), go to My Brands and use the 'change of details' option.

Important brand updates

Transfers – brands are not automatically transferred by a property sale or by a Will. When you intend to change ownership of a brand, you must lodge an application to transfer a brand or earmark form. A fee applies.

Change of address – owners of brands are required to notify the Registrar of Brands of any change of address. You can notify us by letter or go to My Brands and add your brand and PIC number to see your records. Then click on 'change of details' and update your address details. No fee applies.

Change of name – if you are an owner or part owner and have legally changed your name, you must notify the Registrar of Brands. You can notify us by letter or go to My Brands and add your brand and PIC number to see your records. Then click on 'change of details' and update your name details. No fee applies.

Relinquishment of guardianship or trusteeship – if you wish to cancel a guardianship or trusteeship in connection with a brand. You can notify us by letter or go to My Brands and add your brand and PIC number to see your records. Then click on 'change of details' and relinquish guardianship. It is usual to cancel a guardianship when the person involved reaches 18 years of age. No fee applies.

Notification of death – there is no legal requirement to notify the Registrar of Brands in the event of a death. You only need to advise us about a death if you intend to transfer the brand – read the Transfers information above.

Cancellation – if you no longer wish to retain registration of a brand, complete a cancellation authority form (PDF, 225KB). Where there is more than 1 owner of the brand, all owners must sign the form. If the owner is deceased, the executors/administrators of the estate must sign the form. No fee applies.

How we use annual brand returns

These returns are used to:

  • update the brands register
  • identify brands being incorrectly used
  • allow cancellation of brands no longer in use so they can be reissued to other applicants
  • check that earmarks are being used in the correct district for which they are registered
  • check that the brand is correctly registered
  • identify the need for a transfer, change of address or name, or other action as necessary.

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