The Queensland Government has clarified  branding requirements under the state’s  Brands Act 1915 and Stock Act 1915 with  respect to branding and waybill requirements  for feedlot cattle.

The Australian Lot Feeders’ Association (ALFA) has  welcomed the clarification, which it has been seeking to  achieve for several years.

Under the Brands Act, all cattle greater than 100kg  must be branded prior to sale. ALFA has argued  that the interpretation of the legislation with its  policy to improve stock theft has in fact resulted in  onerous and unnecessary requirements on feedlots.  Arguments include:

  • There are a large number of Queensland feedlots  that are vertically integrated with cattle being  owned by the same company from birth through  the chain to slaughter, and whilst there was no sale  transaction, a brand was required by law
  • Many feedlots purchase cattle from interstate where  branding is not compulsory and therefore branding  the cattle was an additional cost imposition to the  feedlot, and
  • Under the previous interpretation of the legislation,  for a waybill to be deemed correctly completed, the  brands of all animals had to be detailed. However,  brands are often unidentifiable due to dirty hides,  hairy coats and poor brand markings, which make it  difficult to accurately identify the brand to record on  the waybill.

The Minister for Agriculture, John McVeigh has advised  that the following scenarios are not considered to be  a ‘sale’ transaction under the legislation and therefore  branding is not required for:

  • Interstate cattle ‘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, and
  • Cattle owned by a vertically integrated company  from birth to slaughter, including integrated  extensive and intensive businesses.

Branding continues to apply to interstate cattle that  are sold over the scales to a feedlot or purchased from  a saleyard in Queensland and to cattle that are not  immediately slaughtered and diverted from a feedlot  and sold to another company or person.

In relation to waybills, the Minister has advised that  there is no legal obligation to provide additional  information on waybills including brands, National  Livestock Identification System numbers and or  management tag details.