Brand Board seeks end to horse, mule inspectionsSB 21 changes the term “livestock” to “cattle.” The legislation doesn’t address who should be responsible for abandoned horses.
By: Staff reports, Republic Capitol Bureau
PIERRE — The state Brand Board wants to stop ownership inspections of horses and mules. Unlike stray cattle, which can be sold for slaughter if they aren’t eventually claimed, there isn’t a U.S. market for horse meat. Some horse owners dump their animals in open ranges or just alongside a road or rest stop. In western South Dakota, where the Brand Board has jurisdiction, those horses become a financial responsibility of the board.
SB 21 changes the term “livestock” to “cattle.” The legislation doesn’t address who should be responsible for these abandoned horses, which currently must be fed and boarded while the owners are sought. This also could become an issue in eastern South Dakota, where the Brand Board doesn’t have authority, and the problem could go into the hands of county commissions and city governments.