Brands, Earmarks and Tattoos

The Animal (Brands and Movement) Act 1984 requires compulsory body tattooing of pigs over 10 weeks of age before being sent for sale or slaughter, and provides for the registration of earmarks, bodybrands and tags for sheep and cattle.

Registering Earmarks, Bodybrands and Pig Tattoos

The Registrar of Brands compiles and maintains a register of earmarks, bodybrands and tags for cattle and sheep, body tattoos for pigs and bodybrands for horses.

To register or transfer ownership of an earmark, brand, ownership tag or pig tattoo an application form should be completed and forwarded with the prescribed fee (as stated in the application form) to the Registrar of Brands.

Application forms are available from offices of the Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment in New Town, Launceston and Devonport, through Service Tasmania, or from the links below:

Application to Register Brands Earmarks (51 KB)


Application to Transfer a Brand, Earmark or Tattoo (49 KB)


Sheep and Cattle Earmarking

Sheep and cattle must be earmarked before they reach 6 months of age with an earmark that is registered by the Registrar of Brands. The earmark must be applied to the near (or left) ear of male stock and the far (or right) ear of female stock.

It is possible to buy second-hand registered earmarkers and have the right to use them transferred. Before buying, check with the Registrar of Brands to ensure that the earmarkers can be legally transferred.

Pigs - Body Tattoo

It is compulsory to tattoo the shoulder of all pigs over 10 weeks of age with a registered body tattoo within the seven days prior to leaving the property for sale or slaughter. This includes pigs being sent for slaughter on behalf of the owner. Pigs resold within seven days do not have to be re-tattooed.

A pig body tattoo consists of one, two or three letters of the alphabet as allocated by the Registrar. The height of these letters must not be less than 20 mm or more than 35 mm.

Failure to correctly body tattoo pigs before they leave a property for sale or slaughter could result in a penalty of up to $1000.

Sheep and Cattle Body Branding (Optional)

This practice is optional; however if bodybrands are used they must be registered. A registered bodybrand consists of one, two or three letters of the alphabet as approved and registered by the Registrar. These letters should not be less than 50 mm nor more than 110 mm in height and no part of the brand face should exceed 7 mm in width.

Bodybrands of other designs registered before 1 July 1986 continue to be registered, but may not be transferred to another person.

Cattle Body Tags (Optional)

Stock owners may register a body tag for cattle, however this practice is optional. Body tags can be affixed to any part of the animal except the ear reserved for a registered earmark. They comprise up to three letters of the alphabet and these will be the same letters as the owner's registered bodybrand.

The use of a registered body tag does not preclude the use of other types of tags for such purposes as individual animal or property identification.

Horse Body Branding (Optional)

This practice is optional; however bodybrands for horses may be registered. A registered bodybrand consists of one, two or three letters of the alphabet as approved and registered by the Registrar. These letters should not be less than 50 mm nor more than 110 mm in height and no part of the brand face should exceed 7 mm in width.

Bodybrands of other designs cannot be registered.

Instruments for Earmarking and Tattooing

These instruments may be ordered from a rural merchandising store or pig marketing cooperative after the mark is registered.

Penalties

Failure to correctly body tattoo pigs before they leave a property for sale or slaughter could result in a penalty of up to $1000. Penalties of up to $500 apply for the inappropriate use of registered earmarks and bodybrands.


Contact

Registrar of Animal Brands
Andrea Clark
Product Integrity Branch
GPO Box 44
Hobart TAS 7000
Phone: 03 6165 3240
Fax: 03 6173 0308
Email: Andrea.Clark@dpipwe.tas.gov.au