Title 3. Agriculture and Animals.
Chapter 40. Brands and Marks.


Sec. 03.40.010 Brands and marks.

Any person owning cattle, reindeer, bison, muskox, elk, sheep, horses, mules, or asses, may adopt a brand or mark. After recording the brand or mark as provided in AS 03.40.030, the person has the exclusive right to its use.


Sec. 03.40.020 Record of ownership.

The owner may brand or mark an animal on either side with the owner's brand or mark. The animal shall be branded or marked so that the brand or mark shows distinctly. Sheep may be marked distinctly with a mark or device to distinguish them readily when they become intermixed with other flocks of sheep owned in the state. Evidence of ownership by brand or mark may not be permitted in any court in this state unless the brand or mark is recorded as provided in AS 03.40.030.


Sec. 03.40.030 Recording.

(a) To adopt a brand or mark, a person shall forward to the commissioner of natural resources a facsimile of the brand or mark, together with a written application, and the recording fee of $2. Upon receipt, the commissioner shall record the brand or mark unless it is of record or conflicts or closely resembles that of some other person, in which case the commissioner shall return the facsimile and fee to the applicant. A brand described as being on either side of the animal may not be accepted or recorded.

(b) The commissioner shall file all brands or marks offered for record pending examination. The commissioner shall make an examination as promptly as possible, and if the brand or mark is accepted, ownership thereof vests from the date of filing. The recording of the brand or mark gives the applicant ownership thereof until the next renewal period. A renewal period occurs every five years, beginning with January 1, 1960. At least 90 days before the expiration of each renewal period, the commissioner shall notify every owner of a recorded brand or mark of the renewal period and the owner shall pay to the commissioner a renewal fee of $1 and furnish other information as may be required. The renewal fee is due and payable on or before January 1 of the renewal year, and if an owner fails, refuses, or neglects to pay the renewal fee by March 1, of the renewal year, the brand or mark is forfeited and becomes available for issuance to another applicant.


Sec. 03.40.040 Copy of record; procurement; fee.

Upon the recording of a brand or mark, the commissioner shall furnish the owner with a certified copy of the record. Additional certified copies of the record may be obtained by anyone upon the payment of $1 for each copy.


Sec. 03.40.050 Use without certificate prohibited.

A person may not brand any horse, cattle, reindeer, bison, muskox, elk, mule, or ass, unless the person using the brand holds a written certificate of acceptance from the commissioner.


Sec. 03.40.060 Penalty for use without certificate.

A person who violates AS 03.40.050 is guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon conviction is punishable by a fine of not less than $50 nor more than $300.


Sec. 03.40.070 Brand is personal property.

A recorded brand or mark is the property of the person causing the record to be made, and is subject to sale, assignment, transfer, devise, and descent, as personal property. Instruments of writing evidencing the sale, assignment, or transfer of the brand or mark shall be recorded by the commissioner, and the fee for recording the sale, assignment, or transfer is $1. The recording of the instrument is notice to all persons of the matter recorded. Certified copies are admissible in evidence.


Sec. 03.40.080 Record is evidence of ownership.

In all actions and proceedings in which the title to animals is an issue, the certified copy provided for in AS 03.40.070 is prima facie evidence of ownership of the animal by the person whose brand or mark it may be.


Sec. 03.40.090 Publication of record.

The commissioner shall publish, in book form, a list of all brands and marks on record at the time of the publication. The lists may be supplemented from time to time. The publication must contain a facsimile of all recorded brands and marks, together with the owner's name and mailing address. The records shall be arranged in convenient form for reference. The books and supplements may be sold to the general public at an amount not to exceed $2 a copy.


Sec. 03.40.100 Repealed


Sec. 03.40.110 Animals from other states.

Any person who brings into this state for grazing purposes, any animals included in AS 03.40.010 already branded or marked, shall present to the commissioner a statement of the brands or marks of these animals. If these brands or marks conflict with any previously recorded, the owner or manager of the animals shall brand or mark them with a brand or mark that the commissioner considers a brand or mark distinguishable from all brands or marks recorded, and the owner shall be enjoined from further use of the conflicting brand or mark. Failure to comply with the provisions of this section renders the party liable for damages resulting from the failure. This section applies to all animals in this state whose brands or marks infringe on previously recorded brands or marks.


Sec. 03.40.120 Sale of branded livestock.

A person may not sell or otherwise dispose of any branded livestock, or buy, purchase, or otherwise receive any branded livestock, unless the person selling or disposing of the stock gives, and the person buying, purchasing, or otherwise receiving the stock receives a bill of sale in writing. A person who violates or fails to comply with this section is guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon conviction thereof is punishable by a fine of not less than $25 or by imprisonment for not more than six months, or by both.


Sec. 03.40.130 Exhibition of bill of sale by purchaser.

A person who purchases, receives, or possesses any branded livestock, either as principal or agent, shall exhibit, on request of any person, the bill of sale of the stock. A person who violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction is punishable as provided in AS 03.40.120.


Sec. 03.40.140 Sale without power of attorney or bill of sale prohibited.

A person may not sell or offer for sale or trade any branded livestock which does not have the person's recorded brand, unless the person has a bill of sale or power of attorney from the owner of the stock, authorizing the sale. The bill of sale must state the buyer's name and address, the date of transfer, the guarantee of title, the number of cattle transferred, the sex, the brand, the location of the brand, and the name and address of the seller. The signature of the seller shall be attested by at least one witness.


Sec. 03.40.150 Penalty for sale without power of attorney or bill of sale; proof; defenses.

Every person violating AS 03.40.140 is guilty of a felony, unless the person upon trial establishes and proves that the person was at the time the actual owner of the stock sold or traded or offered for sale or trade, or that the person acted by the direction of one proved to be the actual owner of the stock. Every person convicted shall be imprisoned for not less than two years nor more than five years. In prosecutions for a violation of AS 03.40.140 it is not necessary to prove motive, intent, or purpose on the part of the accused, or that the accused knew that the stock were sold, traded, or offered in violation of AS 03.40.140. The fact of selling, trading, or offering for sale or trade contrary to AS 03.40.140, when proved, is sufficient to authorize a conviction, unless the accused by testimony explains the case made by the state in a manner consistent with good faith and an innocent purpose.


Secs. 03.40.160 and 03.40.170 repealed.


Sec. 03.40.180 Preservation of hide required.

A person may not kill, for the person's own use and consumption or to offer for sale, any branded livestock without preserving the hide of the animal intact for a period of not less than 15 days. The hide shall be presented for inspection upon demand of any person.


Sec. 03.40.190 Inspected slaughterers exempt.

The provisions of this chapter do not apply to packing plants in this state where the United States Department of Agriculture or the state maintains regular inspection.


Sec. 03.40.200 Record of branded hides.

A person who purchases hides shall keep a record of all branded hides of meat cattle purchased which states the name of the person from whom purchased, the seller's place of residence, the date of purchase, and the mark and brand on the hides. The record shall be open for the inspection of stock growers, their agents and employees at all times.


Sec. 03.40.210 Penalty for violation of AS 03.40.200.

A person who violates the provisions of AS 03.40.200 or who wilfully neglects or refuses to do any act therein required is guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon conviction is punishable by imprisonment for a period not exceeding three months or by a fine not exceeding $100.


Sec. 03.40.220 Reserved brand "S" on left jaw.

There is reserved in the office of the commissioner a cattle brand consisting of an "S" on the left jaw. This brand shall not be assigned to any person in the state, and it is unlawful for any person to use this brand except as provided in AS 03.40.230.


Sec. 03.40.230 Branding of spayed heifers.

A person, when spaying heifers, shall, upon request of the owner, brand the heifers with an "S" on the left jaw, and furnish the owner with a certificate that all heifers so branded have been properly spayed.


Sec. 03.40.240 Penalty regarding spayed heifers.

A person who violates AS 03.40.230 is guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon conviction is punishable by a fine not less than $10 nor more than $100.


Sec. 03.40.250 Inspection of branded livestock.

The commissioner, or an authorized agent, may, at any time, make inspections of branded livestock to ascertain and enforce compliance with this chapter.


Sec. 03.40.260 General penalty.

Any person who violates any of the provisions of this chapter for which a specific penalty is not provided is guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon conviction is punishable by a fine of not less than $25 nor more than $100 for each offense.


Sec. 03.40.270 Definitions.

As used in this chapter, a "brand" means an identification mark burned into the hide of a live animal.


Enacted in 1959, amended in 1966, 1997 and 2000.
Reviewed by AAHS in July 2001.


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