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Branding requirements for the movement of interstate cattle


There is a need to clarify whether cattle originating from New South Wales need to be branded prior to sale in Queensland.

Key Issues

The Brands Act 1915 establishes Queensland's legislative framework for the branding and earmarking of stock. The Act requires that cattle over 100kgs offered for sale must be branded.

However, the requirement to brand cattle is not triggered for the following classes of cattle as they are not being sold for the purposes of the Act:

  • Cattle from interstate custom fed in Queensland feedlots
  • Cattle sold interstate and then transported to an abattoir in Queensland for slaughter.
  • Cattle taken straight from their home property to slaughter and sold over the hooks.
  • Cattle kept in a vertically integrated supply chain arrangement from birth to slaughter (i.e. owned by the same company or person from birth to slaughter).

The Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry has also approved an exemption for interstate cattle sold over the scales at the feedlot. The exemption came into effect on 12 December 2014.

This exemption is subject to the following conditions:

  1. the unbranded cattle must have arrived from a State or Territory outside of Queensland;
  2. the unbranded cattle must have been purchased over the scales at the feedlot in Queensland; and
  3. upon arriving in Queensland, the unbranded cattle must be kept at a registered cattle feedlot in Queensland until they are slaughtered.

Upon request by an inspector, duly appointed under the Brands Act 1915, evidence must be provided that the conditions have been satisfied. Evidence may include data contained in the National Livestock Identification System (NLIS) and/or NVD/waybills and/or Queensland Government Certificate of Health.

However, the obligation to brand cattle applies to interstate cattle purchased from a saleyard in Queensland. It also applies to cattle that are not immediately slaughtered and diverted from the feedlot and sold to another company or person.

More information

If you require further information about this issue, please contact the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries on 13 25 23 or email animal.industries@daf.qld.gov.au.