The Senate Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee recommended legislation today that could lead to a new fee for some types of livestock brand inspections.
A local inspection typically takes place at a ranch and often involves a private transaction, rather than at a public sale day held by a livestock auction market.
There have been 3,381 local inspections since July, and about two-thirds have been for 100 head or fewer.
The Stockgrowers Association opposes the change and prefers an additional 5 cents be charged for every head. The fee was raised to 90 cents last year.
The logic of that position was questioned by Sen. Larry Rhoden, R-Union Center. He said he saves thousands of dollars in commissions and fees by selling off his place rather than taking his cattle to the sale barn, and therefore he agrees with adding the local-inspection charge.
“I don’t expect my neighbors who go to the sale barn to pay for it,” Rhoden said.
Sen. Mike Vehle, R-Mitchell, said he’d like matters to come to an agreement that sticks.
The vote was 7-0 to recommend passage by the full Senate. The committee’s chairwoman, Sen. Shantel Krebs, R-Renner, said a two-thirds majority will be needed because the bill contains an emergency clause allowing it to become law upon clearing the governor’s desk.
The committee also considered eliminating ownership inspections for horses and mules. Nathan Sanderson, a policy adviser to the governor, said the purpose of the legislation, SB 21, is to streamline the Brand Board program.