LAKEWOOD, Colo. –This time of year sends many Coloradans outside to enjoy our warm days and cool evenings; horseback riding is often a favorite summer activity and the Colorado Department of Agriculture reminds horse owners that state statutes require a “brand” inspection if they plan on buying, selling or transporting horses.
“The Department typically sees an increase in the number of horses being bought and sold this time of year, ” said CDA’s Division Director for the Brand Inspection Board, Rick Wahlert. “There has also been an increase in the number of horses in urban communities and folks need to remember to contact us for a transfer of ownership inspection. ”
In 2009, 45,000 brand inspections were performed for horse sales statewide. Inspections include identifying the animal and certifying that the shipper or seller is the legal owner prior to issuing a certificate.
The Division of Brand Inspection’s primary responsibility is to protect the livestock industry from loss by theft, illegal butchering, or straying of livestock. The division is assigned five principal regulatory responsibilities: Record and administer livestock brands Inspect livestock and verify ownership before sale; transportation beyond 75 miles; transportation out of state; or slaughter Inspect packing plants, livestock sale rings, and inspect all consignments before sale to verify ownership License and inspect alternative livestock (elk and fallow deer) facilities Prevent and return strayed or stolen livestock and to investigate reports of lost or stolen livestock In FY08/09, the division personnel traveled in excess of 1.4 million miles and inspected approximately four million head of livestock. In addition, they identified ownership of lost, stolen, or strayed and questionably owned livestock valued at over $60 million.
“Riding horses along our valleys or through our mountain landscapes is a time honored tradition for many but it is important to remember to follow state law by getting an inspection before buying or selling your next horse, ” said Wahlert.