Stock brands serve as an identification system for cattle and are kept up to date on a national register. The brand identifies the owner of the animal and its primary purpose is the control and management of animal diseases. It is also an important tool to address the problem of stock theft. The legal basis is the Stock Brands Act (Act 24 of 1995) as amended and its regulations. In accordance with this legislation, in order to legally keep livestock, you must have a registered stock brand.
Which cattle must be marked with a stock brand?
  • All cattle older than 6 months, OR younger if they are moved before the age of 6 months.
  • If animals are bought OR received as a gift, they must be identified with the stock brand of the new owner within 30 days.
  • Cattle intended for export to South Africa must be branded with an “N” on the left cheek.
  • Imported cattle must be marked with “(-----)” on the left cheek.
Rules for registering a brand
  • Owners may not brand their animals if the brand has not been registered. The same stock brand has to be used for large and small stock.
  • Only one brand per owner is allowed, except where a producer also holds a stud breeder brand.
  • Also, if an owner farms in several magisterial districts, he needs to register one stock brand per district.