Utah Department of Agriculture and Food




Livestock fees were set to increase for the first time since 2007, on July 1, 2018. However, at this time fees will stay the same. One aspect of these fees is brand inspection done by the Livestock Inspection Bureau.

The Livestock Inspection Bureau is designed to deny a market to potential thieves and to detect the true owners of livestock. Their mission is to provide quality, timely and courteous service to the livestock men and women of the state, in an effort to protect the cattle and horse industry.

“Livestock Inspection is for the buyer and seller’s protection, ensuring that the person selling the livestock is the legal owner of the livestock and has a right to sell it,” said Anna Marie Vail, Deputy Chief - Livestock Inspection Bureau. “It also gives the buyer official proof of ownership.  Both parties are then in compliance with Utah State Code 4-24-302.”

Brand inspections are required by law when livestock are: changing ownership, going to
slaughter, leaving the state — even if the livestock is not branded. The Bureau consists of full-time employees, which includes special function officers and three law enforcement officers, and half-time or part-time inspectors.

The inspectors verify proper ownership of livestock before they are sold, shipped out of state, or sent to slaughter. The Bureau also has a strong presence at each of the five weekly auctions inspecting all cattle and horses.

Brand inspectors investigate livestock crimes, regulate livestock dealers, ensure strays are returned to the rightful owner, and regulate livestock markets and temporary sales. Inspectors assist the state’s port of entry personnel; a livestock inspector is assigned to
work monthly in each port of entry.

These inspectors are authorized and equipped to chase down those livestock transporters who ignore the signs requiring all livestock hauling vehicles to stop. This is an effort to help prevent diseased animals from entering the state and stolen animals from leaving the state.

The Livestock Inspection Bureau continues an education and enforcement action push. The education sessions are held on a request basis and conducted by the local livestock inspector.

Surveillance efforts by full time Livestock Inspection staff has reduced theft and raised awareness about livestock theft throughout the state. Livestock surveillance signs are placed in livestock-prominent areas with Brand Inspector names and phone numbers for that area. Surveillance signs posted around livestock are highly visible and easily noticed, deterring potential livestock thieves.

The Livestock Inspection Bureau employs a range rider/investigator whose job is to travel from county to county in an effort to prevent animal theft as they forage and are removed from open-range situations. Brand inspectors collect all Beef Promotion fees which are sent to the National Beef Checkoff and Utah Beef Council programs. The brand inspectors also collect the cattlemen’s part of predator control fees.

The Livestock Inspection Bureau does more than inspect and collect fees. They also do yearly travel permits for livestock that enables you to go out of state multiple times in a calendar year; or lifetime travel permits for horses that enable you to move in and out of state as often as you would like and is valid for the lifetime of the horse. Lifetimes are honored in all states and Canada and can be transferred when the horse is sold.

They also register brands — there are over 15,000 brands registered in the state. Branding your animals helps with ownership identification and ensures they will be returned to you. It also gives livestock investigators, law enforcement, animal control, and auctions something to look for in the event that your livestock go missing. Branding is not mandatory and all cattle and horses need to be inspected by law whether they are branded or not.

All in all, these fees help ensure safe movement and lawful transfer of ownership for livestock throughout Utah.