Pig producers must brand their pigs with a registered brand within 7 days before sale or slaughter. This is a requirement under the Livestock Regulations 2013. Pigs under 20 kg are exempt from branding for welfare reasons.
Pig brands help with disease control. Carcasses can be identified and traced back to their property of origin.
Pig brands are designed to be read after the pig has been killed.
Pig brands have three letter of the alphabet that must:
- be no less than 12 mm wide
- be no more than 25 mm high
- not have spaces between them greater than 12 mm.
Brands are made by dipping the points of needles in a carbon-based fluid or paste and then slapping them firmly against the side of the pig. The needles must penetrate about 2-3 mm into the skin. The needles leave the carbon behind in the shape of the letters.
The brand must be placed on the:
- left shoulder for pigs bred from the owner’s stock
- right shoulder for pigs that have been purchased.
Pigs that have been slaughtered may be branded on both shoulders.
Register, cancel or transfer a brand
Pig brands are issued free with Property Identification Codes.