S.D. Senate kills Brand Board changes on inspections

Farm Forum

Editor’s note: This article updates the story found on page 4G with new information.

PIERRE – The state Senate decided on Jan. 29 against allowing several changes in the livestock ownership inspections conducted in western South Dakota.

The state Brand Board wanted to eliminate ownership inspections for horses and mules.

The Brand Board also wanted to start charging an extra fee for ownership checks known as local inspections.

They are done by request at locations in the field, such as at an individual ranch.

The ownership inspections are required on cattle, horses and mules west of the Missouri River. The Daugaard administration supported both proposals.

The South Dakota Stockgrowers Association however opposed them. The stockgrowers previously ran the ownership inspection program for the Brand Board.

On Jan. 29 the Senate voted 35-0 to kill the local-inspections fee, which could have been up to $25, and 34-1 to stop elimination of the horse and mule inspections.

Sen. Shantel Krebs, R-Renner, said afterward that the next step will be up to the Brand Board, whose members last June set the standard inspection fee at 90 cents per head.

Krebs said the Brand Board can consider how much needs to be raised through an increase in the fee.

Horse and mule inspections cost on average about $2 per head, and local inspections typically cost more than the 90 cents fee covers.

Krebs said senators heard in recent days from many horse owners who said their valuable animals would be better protected if the brand inspections remain in effect.

“We recognized we needed to listen to them,” she said.