Brand Policy: Brand Registration

You Must Register with LIS in Alberta

Your brand must be registered with Livestock Identification Services Ltd. before you are legally allowed to brand your livestock in Alberta. A rigid set of specifications is followed when issuing new brands. Registration restrictions are in place to ensure brands conform to established protocols and to ensure potential conflicts in similar brands is minimized among neighbouring producers.

Livestock in Alberta does not have to be branded. Choosing not to brand them is accepting the risk that goes with having unbranded livestock. However, if an unregistered brand is used, this is breaking the law.

When cattle brands are registered, they may be used in one of six positions on an animal: the shoulder, rib or hip on either the left or right side. When horse brands are registered, they may be used in one of six positions on the animal: the jaw, shoulder or thigh on either the left or right side.

Your brand must be applied to the exact part of the animal specified on your registration certificate. This is because when the characters are applied to a different position on the animal, they become a completely different brand. If the brand is applied to the left shoulder when its registration says left hip, this could duplicate a brand already owned by someone else.

Brand Design Policy

Design Brands Using the Following Rules
The basic design for most brands will consist of a combination of characters (letters and numbers) and symbols. Brands that don't meet the requirements of this brand registration policy won’t be registered.
The Brand Recorder will only authorize or approve brands that meet the following design specifications. Any new brand that does not comply with the specifications will not be issued as a working brand, nor may they be used on livestock.
Any letter of the alphabet can be used in a brand except "Q". The letter "Q" will never be used because of its similarity to an "O". 
The letter "G" can only be used in the reverse position (see below) to avoid confusion with the letter "C" (which is never reversed).
Any numbers except the zero "0" and the one "1" can be used. They are registered as the letters "O" and "I".
The letter "I" can only be used without a top or bottom line.
The letter "J" can be used with no top line, to avoid confusion with a "T". 
The following design characters can be used:
These letters are allowed in the reverse position: 
These letters can be used in the lazy left position:
These letters are allowed as monograms: "A", "B", Reversed "B", "D", Reversed "D", "E", Reversed "E", "F", Reversed "F", "H", "J", "K", Reversed "K, "L", "M", "N", "P", "R", Reversed "R", "U", "W".
Only one lazy left or reverse character per brand is allowed.
The following symbols can be used above or below characters of a brand.
Note: Half-diamonds must have the ends pointing toward the brand characters. The ends of the quarter circle must point away from the brand characters. The running bar "–" can only be used directly in front, behind or between two characters.

The following restrictions are placed on new brand designs:
  • Lazy right characters cannot be used in new brands. 
  • One character inside another, inverted characters, hanging, walking, or flying in a brand. (Left to Right) cannot be used on new brands.
  • Inverted (upside down) letters and numbers are not allowed on new brands. 
  • The running bar with a single character will not be issued for cattle as a new brand. 
  • Two characters side-by side without a symbol above them or below them will not be used for a new brand. 
  • Arbitrary signs of intricate design will not be registered except in special circumstances, as in arbitrary and honorary brands.
When applying to register a brand, LIS checks for possible conflicts (similar brands) within a 50-mile radius of where the livestock are located. That is why you are to show on the application where your livestock will be pastured or placed.
Livestock Identification Services Ltd.
109, 264 Midpark Way S.E.
Calgary AB, Canada T2X 1J6
Toll Free: 1-866-509-2088
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