Branding of horses


Ratification Date: 01 Oct 2020


  1. Horses must be permanently identified. The preferred method is radiofrequency identification (microchip) for management, registration, traceability and identification purposes.
  2. Where branding is considered necessary in addition to electronic identification, freeze branding must be used. Appropriate analgesia is essential.


Some breed and sporting organisations still require branding of horses, with or without microchipping, because it enables visual identification of horses, and is permanent. In addition, not all sites will have microchip scanners.


The following guidelines should be observed for branding of horses.

  1. The operator must ensure compliance with relevant state laws.
  2. Branding should be done by a competent operator.
  3. Adequate restraint and analgesia must be used to minimise distress and pain and thus ensure the best welfare outcome for the animal.


Date ratified by AVA Board October 2020