PIERRE, S.D. — Livestock producers in western South Dakota could be paying more for mandatory inspections next year. The state Brand Board on Wednesday, Nov. 8, 2023, settled on four items to pursue in the coming legislative session.
Board members agreed to seek a higher inspection fee. The fee now is $1 per head. They want authority to go as high as $2 but would set the actual amount after a public hearing.
The board’s executive director, Debbie Trapp, said inspections have been costing about $1.18 per head. In addition, according to Brand Board member Myron Williams, Wall, S.D., brand inspectors have seen increases in amounts they receive for mileage, pay and benefits.
Another change that will be sought is giving inspectors discretion to do their work with livestock that are in or on any form of conveyance, such as a trailer. Currently state law forbids it.
The board also wants authority to charge an additional $30 for inspections of 20 head or less. This would be in addition to the per-head fee. “We’d have to create a law that says we can do that,” explains the board’s chair, Scott Vance of Faith.
Finally, the board wants the Legislature to change all livestock-inspection violations to Class 2 misdemeanors, punishable by up to 30 days in jail and a $500 fine. Currently, they are Class 1 misdemeanors, punishable by up one year in jail and a $2,000 fine.
The 2024 legislative session begins January 9.