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Division Of Brand Inspection

Department Of Agriculture State Of Colorado

In This Section

General Information

Transfer of Ownership

Permanent Hauling Cards

Additional Information

Division of Brand Inspection

The Brand Inspection Division has a long history in Colorado beginning around 1865 in what was then the Colorado Territory. Today, the division administers more than 37,000 livestock brands to identify ownership of cattle, sheep, mules, burros, horses, elk and fallow deer. Brand inspection is crucial to verify ownership in cases of strayed or stolen livestock, and animal health programs are strengthened by the ability to trace animals to their herd of origin.

The division is administered by the State Board of Stock Inspection comprised of five members, appointed by the Governor, representing all segments of the industry. The members of the board during the 1999 –2000 period are Mr. Dick Tanner of Yoder, Mr. Dean Davis of Lindon, Mr. Lee Spann of Gunnison, Ms. Linda Ingo of Ridgway, and Mr. Roger Hickert of Akron.

The division employs 65 brand inspectors located throughout the state, eight brand foremans, and nine administrative personnel, including Brand Commissioner J. G. Shoun. The annual budget for the division exceeds $3 million and is completely funded by the fees levied to livestock owners and brand assessment fees levied every five years.

The division is assigned five principal regulatory responsibilities:

  1. To record and administer livestock brands.

  2. To inspect livestock and verify ownership before sale, transportation out of Colorado, transportation beyond 75 miles in Colorado, or slaughter.

  3. Inspect and license packing plants, livestock sale rings and inspect all consignments before sale to verify ownership.

  4. License and inspect alternative livestock (elk and fallow deer) facilities.

  5. Prevent and return strayed or stolen livestock and investigate reports of lost or stolen livestock.

In addition, brand inspectors collect beef promotion, research funds and promotion fees for the Colorado Horse Development Authority. The division is also the trustee for all surety bonds issued to licensed markets and packinghouses doing business in Colorado.

Annually, the division personnel travel in excess of 1.4 million miles and inspect approximately 5.1 million head of livestock. In addition, they identify ownership of lost, stolen, or strayed and questionably owned livestock valued at over $17 million. The division conducts 60,000 horse inspections and issues permanent horse travel permits.

The brand division has concentrated on educational programs in the past few years. The focus of the educational program is on teaching brand law and theft prevention to the public and law enforcement agencies. Several classes are given each year, all in different areas of Colorado.

Transfer of Ownership

All bovine and equine must have a brand inspection for each of the following cases:

  1. Every change of ownership.

    1. Whether the animal has a brand or not, an inspection is required.

    2. This includes animals that are registered with a breed association. That registration does not exempt the animal from needing a brand inspection.

    3. The brand inspection must be done prior to the sale and transportation of the animal.

    4. If you are selling an animal that was purchased in a state that did not require a brand inspection where purchased, an original bill of sale must be shown at the time the animal is brand-inspected in this state (prior to sale within Colorado).

  2. Prior to movement or transportation over 75 miles away from home.

  3. Prior to leaving the state.

  4. Prior to slaughter.

    1. Some custom packinghouses can complete the brand inspection on site. Others require a brand inspection prior to delivery to the packinghouse.

Permanent Hauling Cards

Permanent hauling cards for horses can be obtained at a nominal fee when the original change of ownership brand inspection takes place. The permanent hauling card is valid for:

  1. Movement or transportation of the animal greater than 75 miles away from home.

  2. Outside of state boundaries. (This does not negate other needed transportation documents as required by the State Veterinarian for departing or arriving in Colorado).

  3. The Permanent Hauling Cards are not transferable. If and when ownership changes, a new hauling card must be issued.

  4. The card must be present during transportation of the animal.

Costs for the Permanent Hauling Cards are:

  1. For one horse:

    A. $10.00 inspection fee

    B. $15.00 permit fee

    C. $3.00 collected for Colorado Horse Promotion Board

  2. For 2 or more horses:

$10.00 total or $1.00 per head, for 11 or more horses, whichever is greater; for the inspection fee

B. $15.00 permit fee each

C. $3.00 each collected for Colorado Horse Promotion Board

Additional Information

Important Phone Numbers and Office Locations

The main office of the Colorado State Brand Commissioner is located at the Livestock Exchange Building. This office is staffed from 7:30a.m. to 5p.m. Monday through Friday. Their office is open every weekday except for 6 major holidays through the year. This is the best place to call for general questions.

Their information is:

Division of Brand Inspection

201 Livestock Exchange Building

4701 Marion St.

Denver, CO 80216

Telephone: (303) 294-0895

Fax: (303) 294-0918

If you need to reach a local brand inspector to schedule an inspection, please refer to the listing below for the brand inspector near you.

BRUSH OFFICE: (970) 842-2295

DENVER OFFICE: (303) 294-0895

GREELEY OFFICE: (970) 352-8622

FT. COLLINS OFFICE: (970) 490-1764

LONGMONT OFFICE: (303) 378-5353

Many of the above listed phone numbers will be answered by an answering machine during the day due to a high volume of fieldwork, and few stationary office personnel. This listing is just a few of the Inspectors/Office locations specific to the eastern front-range area. Information on other offices and personnel throughout the state can be obtained at (303) 294-0895.

C.A.R.T - A Manual for Success, 2nd Edition

Complete information on this and many other Small Acreage topics are now available in

C.A.R.T - A Manual for Success, 2nd Edition

CART manual
To obtain a copy of this book please contact the Adams County Small Acreage Coordinator 303.637.8157


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