History Of Animal Identification

animal brandingThe concept of animal tagging is nothing new. In early days, the various cattle farms and ranches used methods like branding irons, to label the name or symbol of the ranch to which an animal belonged.A red hot branding iron, having the proprietary mark of the farmer or rancher, was used on the poor animal to etch out a mark on its hide.
(This is the origin of the term “brand” for an item. Surprising, isn’t it?)

Thus if the animals grazed in a common area, the cowboys or shepherds could identify their animals because of the branding. There were obvious disadvantages to this system, one of them being that it was a painful process for the animal itself. After branding, the actual identification of the animals was done manually. The only advantage was, that there was little room for dispute with another animal owner or ranch owner about the rightful ownership of a particular animal.