Branding Animals


I am a cattle farmer. As part of my farming operation I have to brand my animals which is dictated by SA law. The method used is branding irons which are heated in a fire and then applied to the animals skin leaving an imprint which makes the animal identifiable no matter where in the country it is. The process causes pain to the animal.

Furthermore, other practises that may cause pain to animals such as administration of vaccines, insertion of ear tags, ear notching, dehorning, castration and drainage of abscesses are also carried out.In some of the instances like branding an immobiliser is used which stops the animal from jumping around and injuring itself or the attendants. The immobiliser does not prevent the animal from experiencing pain.

A lot of the procedures mentioned are applicable to sheep and goats as well. Many of the practises carried out are essential if one has to survive as a farmer in SA. Some of the procedures are for the benefit of the animal eg draining of abscesses and injection of vaccines. Others such as branding are dictated by law and others such as dehorning and castration are dictated by the markets. Feedlotters do not want to purchase animals with horns as they injure other animals at the feed troughs, nor do they want animals with testicles hence the castration.

Please let me know that if I practise the above whether this is acceptable Islamically or not.

I understand that deliberately inflicting pain to an animal eg. Beating with a whip is unacceptable and I as a farmer generally have a bond with my animals and would not unnecessarily cause them pain or harm.


Branding of Animals, ear notching and ear tagging, dehorning, castration, administration of vaccines and draining of abscesses are allowed in Shariah, as long as some benefit is intended. Branding an animal for easy recognition purposes is allowed and is a valid reason for banding. However, the branding should be from the furthest part from the face like the behind. 

The animal should not be tortured when carrying out these procedures. These procedures must be administered by a qualified individual. 

Checked and Approved By:

Mufti Muhammed Saeed Motara Saheb D.B.


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