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Brands in the NT

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Primary Industry / Animal Biosecurity Branch / Brands in the NT 

Brands in the NT Contact Livestock Biosecurity Officers

Branding cattle and horses is a clear way of identifying ownership of stock, and can also play an important role in disease control programs and chemical residue trace back programs. This is important to both consumers and producers, to maintain confidence in the safety and integrity of livestock products.

The Northern Territory Livestock Act and Regulations uses a three-letter brand system where one letter must be the letter "T" and a distinctive (symbol) brand system.

In any proceedings, proof that an animal is branded in accordance with the provisions of the Livestock Act with a registered brand is prima facie proof that the animal is the property of the owner of the registered brand.

A brand is registered to a person or company for use on a nominated NT property only.

Under NO circumstances are these brands to be used in any other State or Territory, or on any other property. This means the branding iron can only be used by the registered owner (or their representative) on the registered NT property (as stated on your Branding Certificate/s).

To legally use a brand in the Northern Territory the brand must be registered in the NT and comply with the Livestock Act and Livestock Regulations.

Please ensure you discuss your branding requirements with the Livestock Biosecurity Officer in your Region, prior to submitting application/s.

Registering a Three-Letter Brand

It is compulsory to brand cattle before they are moved off a property or are sold (unless they are less than 8 months of age).

Brands can be used on horses, buffalo and camel but it is not compulsory.

Submit an Application for 3 Letter Brand for Horses, Cattle and Buffalo to the Registrar, ensuring:

  1. Applicant must be at least 18 years of age; and
  2. Applicant must choose three (3) x 3-letter brands from the Three-Letter Brands Available for Registration in the NT list; and
  3. Applicant must specify the property on which the 3-letter brand will be used; and
  4. Applicant must specify the livestock and branding position/s to which the brand will be applied; and
  5. Must be the owner of the specified property; or
  6. Must have permission of the owner of the specified property. If you are not the registered owner of the land, you must have the owner of land complete the Owner's Permission to Use Run form; and  
    • All registered owners of the land must sign the form.
    • Additional documentation is required if the application is for use on Aboriginal Land Trust (ALT).
  7. Payment must accompany Application.

Note only one 3-letter brand can be registered to a particular person or company for use on a specified property.

Refer to Agnote – Livestock Identification – Brands in the Northern Territory

Construction and size of 3-letter brands

  1. All 3 letters of a 3-letter brand must be constructed on 1 handle; and
  2. Each letter must be between 4cm and 8cm in both height and width; and
  3. The imprint surface of the irons is to be no more than 4mm wide and no less than 3mm wide. The letters must also be ‘clean joined’ print and not ‘fancy’ or ‘broken’ print.
  4. Refer to Factsheet - NT requirements for making branding irons

Registering a Distinctive (symbol) Brand

Submit an Application for Distinctive (Symbol) Brand for Horses and Cattle to the Registrar, ensuring:

  1. A 3-Letter Brand must be held before applying for distinctive (symbol) brand; and
  2. Registered owner/s of 3-Letter Brand must sign the application for distinctive (symbol) brand; and
  3. Applicant can register up to 3 distinctive (symbol) brands registered in connection with the 3-letter brand. When registered, it may be used in addition to, or instead of, a 3-letter brand; and
  4. A symbol brand must be 2 letters with a symbol - over, under, vertical. Single letters are no longer accepted; and
  5. A symbol brand cannot be 3 equal sized letters or characters and not be a 3 character brand registered in another State; and
  6. A symbol brand must be unique to the Northern Territory and if in the opinion of the Registrar or Delegate of the Registrar, a distinctive (symbol) brand produced from the chosen design would not be clearly legible the distinctive brand will not be registered; and
  7. Applicant must draw a full scale image of the distinctive (symbol) brand required; and
  8. Applicant must specify the livestock and branding position/s to which the brand will be applied; and
  9. Payment must accompany Application.

Construction and size of Distinctive (symbol) brands

  1. A distinctive (symbol) brand shall not be less than 4cm high and wide or no more than 12cm high or wide. 
  2. The imprint surface of the irons is to be no more than 4mm wide and no less than 3mm wide.
  3. It is recommended that any adjacent lines of a distinctive brand be at least 20mm apart to avoid blotching.
  4. Refer to Factsheet - NT requirements for making branding irons

Cross branding

Cross branding Cattle/Buffalo after purchase is not mandatory in the NT, however if livestock are not cross branded it provides no legal claim to purchased stock. 

Purchased cattle/buffalo need to be cross branded correctly to provide evidence of ownership.

Refer to Agnote – Livestock Identification – Branding and Cross Branding in the NT.

Requirement to submit an impression of brand

The registered owner of a 3-letter brand and a symbol brand must, within 60 days after receiving the certificate of registration for the brand, give the Registrar an impression of the brand made on linen, canvas, cardboard, leather or other material acceptable to the Registrar. This means once you have had your branding iron made, you must make a physical imprint/impression for inspection by a delegate of the Registrar. The Brand owner/s will then be notified in writing whether imprint meets with the Livestock Act and Regulations. Please note: Certificate of Registration of Brand is not approval of Brand imprint. 

Brand to be consistent with registered design

The registered owner of a brand commits an offence if the instrument used to apply the brand to livestock does not produce a brand consistent with the design or description in the certificate of registration for the brand. This means once your branding iron is made, if it is different to the design on your Certificate of Registration, then you must advise your Livestock Biosecurity Officer as soon as possible, as you will need to have your design amended in the NT Brands Register.

Registering an Earmark

A 3-Letter Brand must be held before applying for an Earmark. Earmark are not compulsory, they are used to aid identification of Cattle.

Submit an Application for Earmark for Cattle to the Registrar, ensuring:

  1. A 3-Letter Brand must be held before applying for and Earmark; and
  2. Registered owner/s of 3-Letter Brand must sign the application for earmark for cattle; and
  3. Applicant selects 3 Earmarks and position from the NT Code index of Registered Earmarks for Use with Registered Brands in the NT;
  4. Payment must accompany Application.

Transfer Brand to new owner

Brands are not transferred automatically by a property sale or by a will.

When a 3-letter brand is transferred, the distinctive (symbol) brand/s and/or Earmark associated with it are automatically included in the transfer, unless otherwise stated by the registered owner of the Brand.

Examples of when the ownership of a brand should change are:

  • an agreement is made in the sale contract to transfer the brand to the new owners; or
  • change of name by marriage; or
  • notification of death; or
  • the company that owns the registered brand is dissolved; or
  • a part owner is added or removed.

Submit an Application for Transfer of Brand to the Registrar, ensuring:

  1. Current Registered owner is correct – Solicitors usually conduct a NT Brands Register Search to obtain the current and accurate information. Alternatively, search on the NT Brands Register - http://brand.primaryindustry.nt.gov.au/; and
  2. New Owner/s details are correct, if company please include ABN or ACN; and
  3. Transferor – all current registered owners must sign the application; and
  4. Transferee – all new Owner/s must sign the application; and
  5. If the owner is a company, the signature of director/s is required, or the signature of a sole director. They must state their capacity on the application; or
  6. If an owner is deceased, the executor or administrator of their estate must sign the form, stating their capacity as executor or administrator. Copy of death certificate is also required; and
  7. Must be the owner of the specified property; or
  8. Must have permission of the owner of the specified property. If you are not the registered owner of the land, you MUST have the Owner of the land complete the Owner's Permission to Use Run; and  
    • All registered owners of the land must sign the form.
    • Additional documentation is required if the application is for use on Aboriginal Land Trust (ALT).
  9. Payment must accompany Application.

Fully completed forms can be sent:

Email: adele.kluth@nt.gov.au 
Fax:
08 8999 2146
 
Post: Registrar - Brands
DPIF, GPO Box 3000
Darwin NT 0801

Please note: Fully completed applications are processed within 30 days.

Request to Change the Run form

If you are using your Brand on a different property/run (to where it is registered for use on) you MUST complete the Request to Change the Run form.

Note Change of Run is not automatic. Surrounding properties will be checked to ensure the Brand is not similar to neighbouring properties and the brand has been previously registered in the same area.

If you are not the Owner of the property/run, you MUST have the Owner/s of the land complete the Owner's Permission to Use Run form; and  

  • All registered owners of the land must sign the form.
  • Additional documentation is required if the application is for use on Aboriginal Land Trust (ALT).

If you have original Certificate/s, please send them in with the above paperwork for amending. Note: All Certificates must be amended (ie Brand Cert, Earmark Cert, Distinctive Cert or Transfer Cert).

If you have lost or misplaced Certificate/s, then a Replacement Certificate must be issued, please complete the payment section on the Request to Change the Run form.

Sale of a property

While the sale of a property may include the stock, the brand is not automatically transferred to the new owners.

One of the following options are required to be completed upon sale of a property:

  1. If an agreement is made in the sale contract to include the brand, then an application to Transfer Brand must be lodged with the Registrar; or 
    Note: when a 3-letter brand is transferred, the distinctive (symbol) brand/s and/or Earmark associated with it are automatically included in the transfer, unless otherwise stated by the registered owner of the Brand.
  2. If the registered owner of the brand no longer wishes to use the brand, it may be cancelled. An Application for Cancellation of Brand must be lodged with the Registrar; or
  3. If registered owner of the brand wishes to keep the brand, but move it to a new NT property, a Request to Change of Run must be lodged with the Registrar, together with original certificate/s for amending.

If not registered owner of new property, Owners Permission to Use Run form required.

Other documents relating to the sale of a property

Changing requests and Cancellation forms

NT Brands Register Search Database

Certificates

As soon as practicable after registering a brand or earmark, the Registrar must issue to the registered owner a:

  • Certificate of Registration of Three-letter Brand
  • Certificate of Registration of Distinctive Brand
  • Certificate of Transfer of Brand
  • Certificate of Registration of Earmark

These certificates are official legal documents and it is the registered owners’ responsibility to ensure all information written on the above certificate/s is accurate and abided by, and ensure their safekeeping.

Should the registered owner wish to make any future changes regarding their brand/s or earmark registration (ie change name by marriage, change the run, change the branding or earmark position/s), then the original certificate/s will need to be returned and amended by LISA / Brands Clerk.

If certificate/s are lost or misplaced, then a Replacement Certificate can be issued at a cost.

Factsheets

Update Brands details

NT Brands Register - Update your Contact details

Notification to the Registrar

Owners of brands must give notification to the Registrar in the following events:

  • Change of property (if the owner moves from the registered property or the property is sold)
  • Change of branding position
  • Cancellation
  • Change of name by marriage
  • Notification of death
  • Transfer to a new owner
  • Change of contact address.

NT Brands Directory

Published biannually and can be purchased from Publications Section DPIF by completing the order form and fax directly to Publications Section - Fax: 8999 2307

Special Permission

(to use branding iron off registered run)

The Registrar may grant Special Permission to brand cattle (off registered run) for a short period of time (ie calves on agistment, newly purchased etc), which means permission is given to the Registered Owner/s of the Brand to use Branding Iron on another property, very short term.

Instructions:

  1. Owner/s of BRAND to discuss with your Regional Livestock Biosecurity Officer (RLBO).
  2. Owner/s of BRAND to complete Request for Special Permission (letter) and fax to your RLBO. Darwin - SP / Katherine - SP / Tennant Creek - SP / Alice Springs - SP
  3. Owner/s of PROPERTY to complete the Owners Permission to Use Run (use Branding Iron temporary on another Run) and fax to Registrar on 8999 2024.
    (Owners Permission to Use Run form is to accompany Leter Requesting Special Permission to brand cattle off registered run).
  4. RLBO – Approve the Request for Special Permission (Temporary/short term use only) - forward document/s and discuss with Registrar.

Registrar will assess Special Permission request and will fax/email authorisation back to registered owner of Brand, owners of temporary run and RLBO.

Special Permission

(to move unbranded cattle)

The Registrar may grant Special Permission to move unbranded cattle. You must discuss with your Livestock Biosecurity Officer to see if your circumstances warrant special permission under Livestock Regulations - Division 2 Offences relating to unbranded cattle – Regulation 58 Owner must not hand over unbranded cattle for travel – authorisation from the Registrar 58(2).

NT Brands Audit - commencing soon

With approximately 1200 brands registered for use in the NT it is vital that all registration details are correct and that all associated information is still current. To ensure this is so, a NT wide audit of brands will commence soon.

The purpose of the audit is to ensure the NT Brands are being used in compliance with the NT Brands Register. For example the registered owner details are accurate, the registered brand is being used on the correct property/run as stated in the NT Brands Register (as stated on your Certificate of Registration etc)

That the registered brand owner is:

  • Aware of their obligations under the Livestock Act and Livestock Regulations; and
  • Comply with the Livestock Act and Livestock Regulations

Please check your details in the NT Brands Directory.


Registrar - Brands, DPIF GPO Box 3000, Darwin NT 0801

Livestock Identification Systems Administrator (LISA) / Brands

Postal:  Brands GPO Box 3000, Darwin NT 0801  |  Location: Goff Letts Building, Berrimah Farm, Berrimah

Phone: 08 8999 2033 | Fax: 08 8999 2146 | E-mail: adele.kluth@nt.gov.au

If any Brand/s need to be cancelled, ownership changed, run changed or there are questions concerning the Brand/s,
in the first instance, please contact the Livestock Biosecurity Officer in for Region for advice and assistance.

Darwin

Rob Wait
Berrimah Farm
GPO Box 3000
Darwin NT 0801

Ph: 08 8999 2034
Fax: 08 8999 2146

Katherine

Josh Haigh
Katherine Research Stn
PO Box 1346
Katherine NT 0851

Ph: 08 8973 9754
Fax: 08 8973 9759

Tennant Creek

Tom Haines
Barkly House
PO Box 159
Tennant Creek NT 0861

Ph: 08 8962 4458
Fax: 08 8962 4480

Alice Springs

Greg Crawford
AZRI
PO Box 8760
Alice Springs NT 0871

Ph: 08 8951 8125
Fax: 08 8951 8123