12-02-2011, 04:45 AM
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Here in Western Australia it is law that all horses must be branded on at least the nearside shoulder before they leave the property they were born on. Doesn't mean they ALL are but they all should be. Pretty sure that the current legislation is that they MUST be freeze-branded, or we'd have had our grey done with heat instead.
My foal is only branded on the nearside shoulder with the brand that is registered to her breeder with the state agriculture department. She has no foal drop number and no proof of year of birth. She is buckskin and was freeze branded but the skin is bald. Lovely clear brand. Had it done on a white-grey pony and a year or two after the fact you can barely read the foal drop number and the breeder's brand is nearly gone. At the time it was beautiful, clear and totally bald. Freeze brands do grow out.
My adult horse was originally branded on both shoulders with a freeze brand but only his offside brand (foal drop number & year of birth) is still visible. He is 16 and the nearside brand has disappeared completely bar a couple of white hairs.
The other states have different branding rules but here in WA they MUST have a stud brand of two letters and one number branded on the near shoulder, and the registry the horse is registered with, if it is registered, will provide a foal drop number to be placed above the last digit of the year of birth.
Monty is 16 and is branded 2 over 5 meaning he was the second foal registered with the Arabian association that was born on that breeding farm in the year 1995. It could have been 2005 or 1985 (or possibly earlier, but highly unlikely) but my vet says he has the teeth of a 15-16 year old so he must have been foaled in '95.
I thought about getting my filly branded with a random number and a zero on her offside shoulder purely for proof of year of birth (she was a 2010 foal) but the nearside brand is sufficient to satisfy the laws so I figure why bother?