University of Vermont AAHS

South Carolina Livestock Laws

 

CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA ANNOTATED
TITLE 47 ANIMALS, LIVESTOCK AND POULTRY
CHAPTER 7 Estrays; Livestock Trespassing or Running at Large
ARTICLE 1 Estrays

 

47-7-10. "Estray" defined.
Any domestic or domesticated animal found wandering at large or abandoned in the public ways or on the lands of any  person other than its owner shall be an "estray."


47-7-20. Public sale of estrays.
Any person finding an estray may take possession thereof and shall, if the owner is not found and no claim to such estray is made within three days, deliver or report the finding and taking up of such estray to the nearest magistrate, who shall sell such estray at public sale after ten days' notice posted in three public places in the county, one of which shall be the courthouse door.


47-7-30. Application of proceeds of sale.
The proceeds of sale of an estray shall be applied first to costs of sale and next to costs of care and feeding of the estray, including a reasonable compensation as determined by the magistrate for the finder's labor for care and feeding. Any balance remaining shall be paid into the county treasury as general county funds.


47-7-40. Penalties for violations or for appropriating estrays.
Any person violating the provisions of this article, or attempting to conceal or appropriate an estray to his own use, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction shall be fined not more than one hundred dollars or imprisoned not more than thirty days for each offense.

 

TITLE 47 ANIMALS, LIVESTOCK AND POULTRY
CHAPTER 7 Estrays; Livestock Trespassing or Running at Large
ARTICLE 3 Livestock Trespassing or Running at Large

 

47-7-110. Permitting domestic animals to run at large unlawful.
It shall be unlawful for the owner or manager of any domestic animal of any description wilfully or negligently to permit any
such animal to run at large beyond the limits of his own land or the lands leased, occupied or controlled by him. Any owner, manager or person violating the provisions of this section shall be subject to a fine for each offense of not more than twenty-five dollars or to imprisonment for not more than twenty-five days.


47-7-120. Stock coming into State shall not be permitted to run at large.
It shall be unlawful for any person to drive, cause to be driven or in any other manner permit to come into this State any horse, mule, hog, cattle, sheep or other livestock and suffer it to run at large in any marsh, forest lands or range in this State. Any person so offending shall be subjected to a penalty of five dollars for each head so permitted to run at large, to be recovered for the benefit of anyone who may sue for it, or the offender shall be proceeded against by attachment in case he cannot be found in this State. But this section shall not apply to any person owning lands in this State who permits such stock to run at large, as aforesaid, upon his own lands, nor to any person driving or causing to be driven any such stock to or from market or for breeding purposes.


47-7-130. Liability of owners of trespassing stock.
Whenever any domestic animals shall be found upon the lands of any other person than the owner or manager of such animals, the owner of such trespassing stock shall be liable for all damages sustained and for the expenses of seizure and maintenance. Such damages and expenses shall be recovered, when necessary, by action in any court of competent jurisdiction. And the trespassing stock shall be held liable for such damages and expenses, in preference to all other liens, claims or encumbrances upon it.


47-7-140. Right to seize trespassing stock.
Any freeholder or tenant of land, his agent or representative, may seize and hold possession of any domestic animal which may be trespassing upon his premises and as compensation for such seizure may demand of the owner of every such horse, mule, ass, jennet, bull, ox, cow, calf, swine, sheep, goat, or other animal not herein named, just damages for injuries sustained. Such claim shall, when possible, be laid before the owner of the trespassing stock within forty-eight hours after seizure of the stock.


47-7-150. Liability of owner for maintenance; bond; recovery of possession.
In case the claim shall not be amicably or legally adjusted and the trespassing animals recovered by the owner within twelve hours after the receipt of such notification, the owner shall further become liable in a sum sufficient to cover the maintenance and care of his stock up to the time of its removal. But the owner shall be entitled to recover immediate possession of his stock on due execution of such bond to cover expenses and claimed damages as any magistrate shall decide to be good and sufficient.


47-7-160. Rescuing animal from custody of person impounding it unlawful.
Whenever any animal shall be taken up under the provisions of this article, it shall be unlawful for any person to rescue it or deliver it from the custody of the person impounding it; and whoever shall violate this provision shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and be punished by a fine of not less than five nor more than thirty dollars or by imprisonment in the county jail not less than five nor more than thirty days.


47-7-170. Satisfaction as defense in criminal prosecutions.
In any criminal prosecution for violation of the provisions of s 47-7-160, the defendant may plead, as a matter of defense, the full satisfaction of all reasonable demands of the party or parties aggrieved by such violation; and upon such plea being legally established and upon payment of all costs accrued up to the time of such plea he shall be discharged from further penalty.

 

CHAPTER 9 Livestock Generally
ARTICLE 1 General Provisions

 

47-9-10. Marking, branding or disfiguring large animals of another.
Whoever shall be lawfully convicted of wilfully and knowingly marking, branding or disfiguring any horse, mare, gelding, filly, ass, mule, bull, cow, steer, ox or calf of any other person shall, for each and every such animal which he shall be convicted of marking, branding or disfiguring as aforesaid, be subject to a penalty of one hundred dollars or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months or both, in the discretion of the court. In case such offender shall afterwards repeat the same or commit a like offense, on conviction thereof he shall be liable to a fine of two hundred dollars or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year or both, in the discretion of the court, for each animal by him so marked, branded or disfigured.


47-9-20. Marking, branding or disfiguring small animals of another.
Whoever shall be lawfully convicted of wilfully and knowingly marking, branding or disfiguring any sheep, goat or hog of any other person shall, for each and every sheep, goat or hog which he shall be convicted of marking, branding or disfiguring as aforesaid, be subject to a penalty of twenty-five dollars or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding twenty days. In case such offender shall afterwards repeat the same or commit a like offense, on conviction thereof he shall be liable to a fine of fifty dollars or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding thirty days for each and every sheep, goat or hog by him so marked, branded or disfigured.


47-9-30. Use of horse, mare or mule without permission.
Whoever knowingly and wilfully shall take and use any horse, mare or mule without the consent of the owner thereof, but without intent to steal, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, shall be punished by a fine of not more than five hundred dollars or by imprisonment for a period of not more than one year or both fine and imprisonment, in the discretion of the court.


47-9-40. Alterations of teeth of horses or mules.
Any person who files down or drills, bores holes or otherwise makes alterations in the teeth of any horse or mule for the purpose of deception as to the age of such animal shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by imprisonment for not exceeding thirty days or by a fine not to exceed one hundred dollars.


47-9-50. Permit required for hauling cattle or swine at night by truck.
It shall be unlawful for any person to load or haul by truck any cattle or swine between the hours of sunset and sunrise, unless such person shall have first applied to the sheriff or magistrate of the district in which it is desired to load such cattle or swine to be hauled or shipped and obtained a written permit to do so. Such permit shall show the name of the permittee, the name of the person from whom the cattle or swine have been purchased or otherwise acquired and a description of such cattle or swine, including marks and brands. All such persons loading or hauling cattle or swine under such permits shall keep the permits on their person during such time and upon signal to stop given by any county or State officer shall stop and upon request shall exhibit such permit. Provided, that a permit shall not be necessary when a bill of sale is issued within twenty-four hours after a purchase at an organized auction sale. Provided, further, that livestock moving intrastate or interstate that has a freight bill or bill of sale shall not be required to obtain a permit. Loading or transporting any cattle or swine in violation of the provisions of this section shall be a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not more than one hundred dollars or by a sentence on the public works of the county not exceeding thirty days.

 

CHAPTER 9 Livestock Generally
ARTICLE 3 Branding or Earmarking

 

47-9-210. Definitions.
The following words and phrases, as used in this article, shall have the following meanings, unless the context otherwise requires:

(1) "Livestock" includes neat cattle, horses, mules, asses, hogs, sheep and goats; and

(2) "Owner" and "stock owner" mean any person who owns livestock.


47-9-220. Branding is lawful.
It is lawful to brand livestock with the owner's brand in accordance with the provisions of this article.


47-9-230. Earmarking.
In addition to, or as an alternative to, a brand, any person may have an earmark for marking livestock. All provisions of this article relating to brands shall apply to earmarks.


47-9-240. One brand per person.
No person shall have or use more than one brand.


47-9-250. Separate brands of wife or minor.
A wife who owns livestock separate from her husband or a minor who owns livestock separate from his father or guardian may have a brand. The father or guardian of any minor who has a brand shall be responsible for the proper use thereof.


47-9-260. Application and fee for adoption of brand.
Any person desiring to adopt any brand for branding livestock, which brand is not then the recorded brand of another, shall forward to the Secretary of State a facsimile of the desired brand together with a written application to adopt the brand. The application shall state where the brand will appear on the livestock. A fee of three dollars shall be enclosed with the application.


47-9-270. Issuance of certificate.
Upon receipt of the application and the fee, the Secretary of State shall register the brand and issue to the applicant a certificate showing that his brand has been registered, unless the brand is already registered as the brand of another or unless the brand would probably be mistaken for a brand already registered, in either of which cases the Secretary of State shall return the facsimile and the fee to the applicant. The certificate shall show on its face the brand which has been registered and the place where the brand will appear on the livestock.


47-9-280. Recording certificate.
Upon receipt of the certificate provided for in s 47-9- 270 from the Secretary of State, the owner shall record the certificate with the clerk of court in every county where he has livestock. For each recording the clerk of court shall receive a fee of one dollar. He shall record the brands in a book for the purpose and the book shall be open to inspection by the public.


47-9-290. Certificate as evidence of ownership of livestock; foreign certificates.
In any criminal or civil action in which title to livestock is involved or proper to be proved, the certificate provided for in s 47-9-270 shall, when recorded as provided for in s 47-9-280, be prima facie evidence of ownership of any livestock bearing the brand shown on the face of the certificate. When livestock is brought into this State from another state or territory in transit beyond the boundaries of this State, a copy of a brand granted or held in the other state or territory, when certified to by the proper officer in that state, shall be received in evidence under the same circumstances, and shall have the same effect, as a certificate issued under the provisions of this article.


47-9-300. Expiration and renewal of brands.
On July 1, 1962, and on July first of every tenth year thereafter, the registration, certification and recording provided for in ss 47-9-260 to 42-9-280 shall expire; but upon application filed within six months prior to the expiration of any term, the registration may be renewed for another term. Applications for renewal shall be accompanied by the same fee as is required for original applications. A certificate as provided for in s 47-9-270 shall be issued upon each renewal, and the certificate shall again be recorded, and the fee shall be paid to the clerk of court as provided for in s 47-9-280.


47-9-310. Notice of need for renewal.
The Secretary of State shall notify registrants under this article of the necessity of renewal within the six months next preceding the expiration of registration by writing to the last known address of the registrants. The notice shall state that if the owner fails to renew the registration of his brand it will be declared abandoned and allowed to other applicants.


47-9-320. Abandonment by failure to renew; allowance of abandoned brands.
Failure to renew the registration of a brand as provided in s 47-9-300 shall constitute an abandonment of the brand. Any brand which has been abandoned may be allowed to other applicants after the lapse of six months from the expiration of registration; but the Secretary of State may allow any abandoned brand to the former owner at any time before the brand is allowed to another.


47-9-330. Transfers of brands.
Any brand registered under the terms of this article may be conveyed to another by an instrument in writing, in duplicate, duly executed, but the conveyance shall not be complete until the instrument has been registered with the Secretary of State. Upon registration of the instrument and payment of a fee of three dollars, the Secretary of State shall issue to the purchaser, in his name, a new certificate for the remainder of the term of registration. The certificate shall be recorded, and the fee shall be paid, as provided for in s 47-9-280.


47-9-340. Cancellation of registration.
The Secretary of State shall cancel the registration of any brand:

(1) At the written request of the owner;

(2) Upon failure to renew the registration in accordance with the terms of this article; or

(3) Upon the order of any court of competent jurisdiction.


47-9-350. Revocation of registration.
The registration of any brand granted under this article may be revoked by the order of any court in this State upon a showing of improper use of the brand.


47-9-360. Age at which livestock should be branded.
If livestock are branded by the owner, they shall be branded as follows: Neat cattle, horses, mules and asses shall be branded before they are twelve months old; hogs, sheep and goats shall be branded before they are six months old. The ages specified herein shall not apply to livestock which have passed those ages at the time they are acquired by the owner or at the time the owner is granted a brand under this article; but all such livestock, if branded by the owner, shall be branded within one month after the time they are acquired by the owner or the time the owner is granted a brand under this article.


47-9-370. Witnesses required when branding purchased or acquired livestock.
If any owner who purchases or acquires livestock from another brands the livestock with his own brand, he shall do so in the presence of at least two disinterested parties. The disinterested parties shall certify in writing that they witnessed the branding of the livestock. The certificate shall also state (a) where the branding occurred, (b) with what brand, if any, the livestock were previously branded and (c) with what brand the livestock were branded or rebranded. The certificate shall be retained by the owner. It shall be unlawful to brand any livestock purchased or acquired from another other than in the manner required by this section.


47-9-380. Unlawful branding.
It is unlawful for any person to brand, or to cause to be branded, any livestock:

(1) With any brand unless it has been registered with and certified by the Secretary of State as his brand and has been recorded with the clerk of court in each county where he has livestock;

(2) With any brand which is registered, certified and recorded as the brand of another; or

(3) With any brand which has been abandoned or the registration of which has been canceled, unless the brand has thereafter been granted to him.


47-9-390. Brand records.
The Secretary of State shall keep an accurate record of all brands registered under the terms of this article and the names and addresses of the owners of the brands, which records shall be open to inspection by the public.


47-9-400. Rules and regulations.
The Secretary of State may promulgate rules and regulations which, in his judgment, may be necessary or proper to supplement or clarify the provisions of this article. The violation of any rule or regulation made and promulgated hereunder shall constitute a violation of this article.

47-9-410. Violations.

Any person convicted of a violation of this article shall be punished by a fine of not less than fifty dollars nor more than five
hundred dollars or by imprisonment for not less than thirty days nor more than one year, or by both such fine and imprisonment.

Reviewed by AAHS in December 2001.


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