Livestock branding is a technique for marking livestock so as to identify the owner. Originally, livestock branding only referred to hot branding large stock with a branding iron, though the term now includes alternative techniques. Other forms of livestock identification include freeze branding, inner lip or ear tattoos, earmarking, ear tagging, and radio-frequency identification (RFID), tagging with a microchip implant. The semi-permanent paint markings used to identify sheep are called a paint or colour brand. In the American West, branding evolved into a complex marking system still in use today.
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