Legal implications

Marking of registered (stud) animals
[section 15(2)]

Paragraphs (a), (c) and (e) of subsection (1) do not apply in respect of –
(a) the marking of animals in accordance with the rules or by-laws of an animal breeders’ society or registering authority as defined in section 1 of the Animal Improvement Act (Act 62 of 1998); or
(b) the marking by the breeder thereof, of an animal which has been registered or recorded, as the case may be, with the South African Stud Book and Livestock Improvement Association.

Registered animals are marked with marks issued by the relevant breeders’ society.

  • The breeders’ society will prescribe the method of marking (branding or tattooing).
  • Certificates of registration issued by the breeders’ society must accompany registered animals that are sold at public auctions.

Alternative identification methods
[section 8(5)]

An owner may, in the prescribed manner, apply for an alternative method of identification. Th e registrar may specify alternative methods of identification by notice in the Government Gazette.

It is now possible to apply to the registrar for alternative methods of animal identification. Only applications for the marking of specific groups of animals or species will be considered.

Should such a request be granted, it would be subjected to strict conditions in order to simplify the work of the inspector and the SAPS. Provisions that would be implemented in such a case would include the application of a single mark (brand or tattoo) indicating that the animals are microchipped.

It will also be a requirement that all those using the method have a scanner/reader available at all times.

Illegal marking of animals
(section 15)

No person may mark an animal with a:

  • mark which has not been registered
  • registered identification mark without the authorisation of the owner of such a mark
  • registered identification mark otherwise than prescribed
  • mark which is registered in the name of another person who is not the owner of the animal
  • mark that is not a prescribed mark for the group to which the animals belong.

(section 16)

Any person doing one of the following commits an offence:

  • a marking operator who fails to keep a register
  • anyone with animals in his or her possession that are not marked in accordance with or in a manner allowed by the Act
  • anyone who alters, mutilates or erases the identification mark on an animal
  • anyone who sells an animal of which the identification mark is altered, mutilated or cancelled
  • anyone who sells an animal of which an ear has been cut off without any lawful reason.

Marking operators
(section 11)

Any person who wants to mark animals other than his or her own animals for financial gain must apply in the prescribed manner to the registrar for registration as a marking operator and pay the prescribed fee.

If the applicant complies with the prescribed requirements the registrar must register him or her as a marking operator.

A marking operator must in the prescribed manner keep a register of animals marked by him or her.

The registrar must in the prescribed manner keep a register of marking operators.

How to register

  • Complete a marking operator course.
  • You must fi ll in an application form obtainable from the course presenter.
  • An application fee is payable.
  • Payment can be made by cheque or postal order.

Address the envelope to:

The Registrar: Animal Identification
Private Bag X138

Marking operator courses

The registrar will inform the applicant where to attend the prescribed course.

The course will include the following:

  • the theory and technique of hot iron branding
  • the theory and technique of freeze branding
  • the theory and technique of tattooing
  • the theory and technique of restraining and marking animals
  • the legislation regarding the welfare of animals. Register of marking operator records

The following information must appear in the marking operator’s register:

name and address of owner whose animals were marked

date on which the animals were marked

type or specified breed marked

number of animals marked

method of identification

date on which the owner’s identification mark was registered

 the owner’s registered identification mark.