Qld Govt seeks feedback on future of livestock branding and earmarking

Beef Central, 08/11/2022

Earlier this year the Western Australian Government introduced laws making livestock branding optional, and now the Queensland Government is testing the water on a similar move.

Just some of the many brands forged by Morrissey and Co in Jandowae. See our earlier article here: Deciphering the cryptic code of cattle brands

The Queensland Government issued a statement today announcing that it is seeking feedback on proposed changes to the State’s branding and earmarking legislation.

Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries and Minister for Rural Communities Mark Furner said the Government is keen to hear from stakeholders on two proposed options.

“Either branding could remain mandatory or producers could be allowed to decide whether or not to brand or earmark their cattle under a voluntary approach,” Mr Furner said.

“None of the proposals involve removing the ability to brand, rather, livestock owners would be given the freedom to decide what’s in their own best interest.

“Queensland’s Brands Act 1915 is more than 100 years old and has not been significantly changed in decades.

“That’s why Queensland needs a modern approach to brands and earmarks that is more efficient for livestock owners and gives them a choice.

“Brands have traditionally been used to show livestock ownership but no longer serve the significant biosecurity function they once did.

“With advances in technology, there are now far more effective ways of tracing livestock in the event of a disease outbreak.

“Not all cattle owners want to brand. However, for those who see value in using a brand to identify stock, branding would still be available under both of these proposals.”

Mr Furner said after other states had made changes in recent years, Queensland and the Northern Territory were now the only Australian jurisdictions that mandated the use of livestock brands.

“The current IT system being used to support brands and earmarks is also outdated and requires replacement which has created an opportunity to review all of the rules around registering a brand or earmark.

“Now is the time to bring in a simpler, more streamlined system which reduces red tape and is more consistent with other Australian jurisdictions,” he said.

“The current branding requirements also impose unnecessary costs on livestock owners, supply chain operators and government.

“The current fees do not reflect the cost of the staffing levels and IT system needed to administer brands, so we are proposing a more appropriate fee structure to support administration of brands and earmarks.

“Having a renewal fee will cover administration costs and free up unused brands for livestock producers who currently find it hard to register the brand they want.”

Mr Furner said the proposed changes and a feedback questionnaire are now available at the DAF Engagement Hub:

“We want to hear from all sections of the community on the future of brands and earmarks in Queensland and I would encourage everyone to have their say,” he said.

Source: Qld Govt


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  1. Audrey B Butler, 16/06/2024

    Has branding cattle in Qld been abolished?
    What about old cows going straight from property to an abattoir?
    Info. would be appreciated.

  2. Harrison Samuel, 22/06/2023

    This topic should not be open to debate by the general public. The opinion on this should be left to those that have knowledge and understanding in the operation, welfare,and ownership of livestock. Specifically when it involves cattle and horses. Now I personally have only been on the livestock scene for a couple of years before now, but it has been in my family/blood for generations. I personally do not yet brand my beasts, as I don’t yet have a registered Brand. However, I am firm in my belief that while branding my be outdated in terms of modern day biosecurity procedures, it is by no means able to be replaced by anything else in terms of livestock herd and ownership identification. A brand is a permanent ID type that cannot be removed. Other forms of ID such as tags, collars or bands, can be easily removed and replaced, meaning that it is very easy for someone to steal your cattle and simply get away with it, this can only be done if there is no brand on the animal. Now a brand is immediately and unmistakably identifiable. Therefore, brands should be mandatory, even if it does make life slightly more difficult for those of us in the livestock game.

  3. TammyCrawford, 13/11/2022

    Branding and earmarking are the only permanent methods of marking your ownership of cattle. The white button ID are not a good way to ID you life stock when you have over 30000 head to work in 6 months, and people just cut them out. Branding and ear marking are the best and safe way for us human to work cattle and it pull lest stress on livestock when you can ID a life stock from 50meter away.

  4. Geoff Donovan, 13/11/2022

    The Brands ACT should be left well alone. The age of it has no bearing on Government’s need to reregulate it and shaft brand holders with more charges. Brand holders highly value their brands and the stock wearing such. Identification by branding has not been surpassed by anything else, including micro chip tagging which producers of livestock have been forced to apply by Government Regulations. A company or individual’s BRAND symbolises a strong part of the DNA of livestock producers in Australia and in Queensland. The “dudes” who can’t use a pocket knife, a set of ear pliers,or a brand and see the merit of such-could maybe leave the running of livestock to those who can.

  5. Robyn Raymond, 12/11/2022

    Brands and earmarks are the only way to permanently identify your stock and help stop cattle stealing.

  6. Anne Raymond, 12/11/2022

    Firstly why is it open to all to comment, it should only be people who make their living from the cattle industary.
    No Brands and earmarks will only increase cattle theft as tags fall out or can be cut. If you want to retain what’s is yours a clear and permanent mark of ownership is needed otherwise someone else will claim it.
    Relaying on devises that require technology to record and identify cattle do not work where there is no reliable internet connections and that work no further that 100 meters from the satellite dish

  7. Ian Moller-Nielsen, 12/11/2022

    Branding and earmarking are the only permanent methods of marking your ownership of cattle.

  8. Brian Rowling, 10/11/2022

    Like all things that are good and work in modern day Australia, the powers to be want to ban or put an end to all of these things. It really does seem to me that they prefer promote things that don’t work. This encompasses products; services and old fashioned values ; so it seems they want to know also promote theft.
    When it comes to livestock if you are too lazy to brand your livestock someone else will so the new comers to the industry who support this voluntary idea be aware
    A tag can be cut out
    Many men women and children have survived to get us to where we are today in Australia don’t stand by and let there suffering and sacrifice be a waste
    Put a stamp on what you own or someone will for you !

  9. Dale Knuth, 10/11/2022

    What has this got to do with” all sections of the community?” Should be a decision made by those who are involved in the production of beef cattle only. Ear tags are as good as nothing – easily removed and replaced – certainly not a deterrent to theft. More interference by those with little knowledge of a food producing industry.

  10. Linda Cowan, 09/11/2022

    As a cattle producer for many years, it is important branding and earmarking of cattle be retained. It is the only way to effectively identify livestock permanently. – and because of that, registration of brands and earmarks should remain a one-off fee.

  11. Peter Dunn, 08/11/2022

    Beware any authority bearing reform.
    Yes, there may have been technological advances. Yes, it may be offered as being optional (for now). Yes, other states may have legislated that option. None of this however, is justification for following along blindly.
    The seductive overtones like “more effective ways” and “not all owners want to”, just to mention a couple, should sound alarm bells. Clearly the powers that be want this to happen because either it will make life easier/cheaper for someone other than the livestock owner, or it will provide an excuse for a ‘renewal fee’.
    Whenever the “powers that be” seek feedback, it is prudent to firstly look at the scoreboard on tree clearing, feral animal control, fire load management, water management (think Paradise Dam), rural road funding, rural training colleges and service provision (health/education/law enforcement) in rural areas, before providing any ‘feed’ to any ‘power’ above.

  12. Brad Bellinger, 08/11/2022

    Keep branding and earmarkring becase NLIS RFID has failed.

  13. Greg Brown, 08/11/2022

    Surely no Govt would be stupid enough to make branding optional

  14. Denise E Gilliland, 08/11/2022

    Branding cattle is the only way to permanently identify them. Tags can easily be removed and replaced. Unbranded cattle will only encourage theft, with cattle thieves only having to replace the tags with their own.

    • Dale Knuth, 08/11/2022

      Typical tripe from people who polish chairs and have no idea of life outside their air-con offices or anything pertaining to livestock

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