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Is hot iron branding of livestock legal?

Article ID: 275
Last updated: 26 Jun, 2015
Revision: 2
Views: 13717

The use of hot iron branding of livestock including cattle, horses and other animals is legal in all States and Territories of Australia, with some conditions as specified in the table below.
 

 State

 Yes/No 

 name of relevant act/special conditions and requirements

 ACT

 Yes

Code of Practice for the Welfare of Animals – Cattle approved under the Animal Welfare Act 1992.

The Code of Practice – Welfare of horses in the A.C.T. notes that hot iron branding may be required by some breed societies.  It is recommended that branding is performed by experienced persons, before weaning and as early as management practices will allow.

 NSW

 Yes

Code of Practice for the Welfare of Animals – Cattle approved under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1979.

 NT

 Yes

Code of Practice for the Welfare of Animals – Cattle approved under the Animal Welfare Act 2000.

The branding of livestock is mandatory under the Livestock Regulations (NT) for cattle over the age of 8 months if they are to travel, be sold, given away or exchanged. 

 QLD

 Yes

Code of Practice for the Welfare of Animals – Cattle approved under the Animal Care and Protection Act 2001.

The Brands Act 1915 prohibits the sale of unbranded cattle. See section 24A. The Brands Act limits areas that can be branded to neck, rump, shoulder, thigh and twist.

 SA

 Yes

Code of Practice for the Welfare of Animals – Cattle approved under the Animal Welfare Act 1985.

 TAS

 Yes

A person in charge of cattle over the age of 6 months must identify them by brand or registered earmark under the Animal (Brands and Movement) Act 1984 (Tas). The brand may be anywhere on the animal except the head or neck. 

The Tasmanian Equine Welfare Guidelines 2008 are listed as an advisory code under the Act.  The Guidelines provide that fire branding is the least acceptable form of horse identification and all efforts should be made to use alternatives.

 VIC

 Yes

Hot iron branding of cattle is not explicitly prohibited under Victorian legislation or mentioned in the Code of accepted farming practice for the welfare of cattle (2001).

 WA

 Yes

Code of Practice for the Welfare of Animals – Cattle approved under the Animal Welfare Act 2002.


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Also read
document RSPCA Policy B4 Farm animal husbandry and management

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