Branding and Marking Livestock

Hot Iron Cheek Branding is Cruel


In 2010, when it became known to the NSPCA that cheek branding of cattle was taking place, the NSPCA lodged its strong opposition to this cruel practice with the Department of Agriculture Forestry and Fisheries.

Branding must never be performed on any area such as the face due to the sensitivity and the nerve and nasal structure in that area.

Cheek branding is still being practiced on some farms; however, the NSPCA is opposed to it.


MARKING: Do it Legally


An owner of cattle, sheep, goats and pigs must apply for a registration of an identification mark and mark his or hers animals in the prescribed manner. Owners selling or giving away animals within 14 days of becoming the owner of such animal must provide the new owner with a document of identification. After the 14 days the animals may not be discarded off without being marked and accompanied with the same document of identification.

Any person marking animals for other stock owner (for a profit) must be registered as a Marking Operator as well as attend and complete a described course.

Permanent identification marks can be put on animals by means of hot iron branding, freeze branding or tattooing. An identification mark consists of not more than 3 letters (two letters for Ostriches) of the alphabet or symbols (characters). The same mark may be used on cattle or small stock. For more information see attached documents below.


Information - (PDF format) … click on title to open or download …

Introduction to the Animal Identification Act and Regulations

Animal Identification Act 2002

Animal Identification Act 2002, amendment (including pigs)

Animals Identification Act – General Information

Animals Declared Under Section 2A

Amendment to Regulation No. R209 (fees payable)

Legal Identification Marks

How to read Branding Marks

List of Marking Operators

General Information for Marking Operators


Updated: 25 March 2010

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