Stop Cruel Branding of Cattle With Hot Irons

Target: Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, Canada

Goal: End the painful practice of burning animals’ flesh to mark them as “property.”

Livestock branding is an inhumane practice of cattle identification that needs to be stopped, which involves burning a symbol onto the skin of a farm animal with a hot iron. Branding has no benefit to the animal and is simply used to return lost or stolen “property” to the owners. With modern technology, this outdated practice must be replaced by a pain free method.

Branding causes third degree burns to the animals. Studies have been done showing that animals do indeed feel pain from the procedure to the extent that many producers find it necessary to give pain medication when branding. But this does not help with the long-term pain caused by the healing of the burn. Many Canadian veterinarians are questioning the validity of this archaic practice, and are pushing for humane methods such as the microchips used in dogs and cats.

Branding is used across Canada and especially in the western provinces. Nearly fifty percent of cattle are branded each year on ranches in British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan. Many of these ranches only brand because it is a tradition, and it is time to stop this obsolete and unnecessary practice and start a cruelty-free tradition instead.


Dear Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau,

Canadian farmers are a vital part of our health and well being, but this comes with a price: thousands of animals suffer abuse each year through the cruel practice of hot iron branding. Veterinarians across the country are speaking out against this unnecessary practice that causes immediate and long-term pain to the animals. To make matters worse, the procedure of hot iron branding is used to identify animal ownership and has no benefit to the animals themselves. With all the advances of modern technology, we must investigate a cruelty-free method of managing animal identification.

We are all accountable for how the animals in our country are treated, and stopping branding of livestock would be a huge improvement in the lives of thousands of animals. Many Canadian ranches brand their animals because it is a tradition, but it is time to stop this obsolete way of thinking and begin a cruelty-free tradition instead.

I urge you to ban hot iron branding in Canada.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Lisa Johnson



  1. Seems to me that if you can put a microchip in a pet you can put one in a steer or any other type of livestock, and there is relatively no pain involved. It’s time to respect the animals that make you rich, treat them decently.

  2. These animal abusing scumbags need to pay with their lives.

  3. Gloria Navan says:

    Absolutely no reason for this.

  4. Linda Hilty-Tuttle says:


  5. Elizabeth Story says:

    Ear tag identification or microchipping is available and in use elsewhere, and needs to be made mandatory to replace the current inhumane cruel tradition of branding.

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