534.011. Inspection and protection of livestock; jurisdiction of Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services
The inspection and protection of livestock in the state are hereby placed under the jurisdiction of the department of agriculture and consumer services, herein called the "department." Fees collected pursuant to this chapter shall be deposited in the General Inspection Trust Fund.
534.021. Recording of marks or brands
The department shall be the recorder of livestock marks or brands, and the marks or brands may not be recorded elsewhere in the state. Any livestock owner who uses a mark or brand to identify her or his livestock must register the mark or brand by applying to the department. The application must be made on a form prescribed by the department and must be accompanied by a facsimile of the brand applied for and a statement identifying the county in which the applicant has or expects to have livestock bearing the mark or brand to be recorded. The department shall, upon its satisfaction that the application meets the requirements of this chapter, record the mark or brand for exclusive statewide use by the applicant. If an application is made to record a mark or brand previously recorded, the department shall determine whether the county in which the mark or brand will be used is near enough to another county in which the previously recorded mark or brand is used to cause confusion or to aid theft or dishonesty, and if so, the department must decline to admit to record the mark or brand. If a conflict arises between the owner of any recorded mark or brand and another claiming the right to record the same mark or brand, the department must give preference to the present owner. The department shall charge and collect at the time of recording a fee of $10 for each mark or brand. A person may not use any mark or brand to which another has a prior right of record. It is unlawful to brand any animal with a brand not registered with the department.
534.031. Certified copies of marks and brands
Certified copies of recorded marks and brands shall be furnished by the department when and as requested and it shall charge and collect $2 for each certificate. Such certificates shall be admissible in evidence in all courts.
534.041. Renewal of certificate of mark or brand
The registration of a mark or brand entitles the registered owner to exclusive ownership and use of the mark or brand for a period ending at midnight on the last day of the month 5 years from the date of registration. Registration may be renewed, upon application and payment of a renewal fee of $5, for successive 5-year periods, each ending at midnight on the last day of the month 5 years from the date of renewal. At least 60 days prior to the expiration of a registration, the department shall notify by letter the registered owner of the mark or brand that, upon application for renewal and payment of the renewal fee, the department will issue a renewal certificate granting the registered owner exclusive ownership and use of the mark or brand for another 5-year period ending at midnight on the last day of the month 5 years from the date of renewal. Failure to make application for renewal within the month of expiration of a registration will cause the department to send a second notice to the registered owner by mail at her or his last known address. Failure of the registered owner to make application for renewal within 30 days after receipt of the second notice will cause the owner's mark or brand to be placed on an inactive list for a period of 12 months, after which it will be canceled and become subject to registration by another person.
534.051. Transfer of ownership of mark or brand
Marks or brands recorded under this act are the property of the person, firm or corporation causing the record to be made, and may be sold, assigned or donated as personal property. Any instrument affecting the title of such mark or brand shall be acknowledged in the presence of the recorded owner and a notary public, and shall be recorded by the department. The fee for recording a transfer of ownership shall be $10.
534.061. Transfer of ownership of cattle
It shall be the duty of all purchasers of cattle, except for immediate slaughter, to remark or rebrand the same within ten days, or have on request a bill of sale from the rightful owner of marks and brands on cattle, provided that this requirement shall not apply where an entire stock of cattle with the mark and brand or marks and brands carried by them shall be sold and conveyed.
534.071. Rules and regulations
The department shall prescribe and enforce suitable rules and regulations for the inspection of livestock and carcasses of livestock to the end that the true ownership thereof may at all times be protected and larceny prevented and for the enforcement of this chapter. The department is hereby authorized to employ all necessary inspectors and to use any other designated persons to enforce and administer the provisions of this chapter.
534.081. Duties of law enforcement officers; appointment of special officers
(1) All law enforcement officers of the state or any political subdivision thereof, including investigators and agricultural law enforcement officers of the department and highway patrol officers, are authorized to stop any driver of a vehicle transporting livestock, carcasses of livestock, inedible raw products of livestock, used grease, used restaurant grease, or other such products and to require such driver to present for inspection the evidence of ownership, or authority for possession, of such livestock, carcasses of livestock, inedible raw products of livestock, used grease, used restaurant grease, or other such products.
(2) All law enforcement officers of the state or any political subdivision thereof, including investigators of the department, shall have the authority to visit all markets, slaughtering establishments, and places where slaughtered animals are offered for sale at reasonable intervals and to keep such markets under close observation.
(3) Repealed by Laws 1992, c. 92-290, § 8, eff. Oct. 1, 1992; Laws 1992, c. 92-291, § 103.
534.082. Duties of livestock hide dealers
Livestock hide dealers shall make and keep a record of all hides of livestock received by them, which record shall include the name and address of the person from whom the hides were purchased, a description of the hides, brands, and any other identifying information. Such record shall be maintained for public or official inspection for a period of two years.
534.083. Livestock hauler's permit; display of permit on vehicle; bill of lading
(1) No person shall engage in the business of transporting or hauling for hire livestock on any street or highway, as defined in s. 316.003(53), without first having applied for and obtained from the department a permit which shall expire on December 31 of each year. The information supplied by the applicant on the application for permit shall be certified under oath. Cost of the permit shall be $5 for each year or fraction thereof.
(2) The department shall issue a metal tag or plate to every person or company required to obtain a permit to transport or haul for hire livestock, which shall bear the serial number of the permit. Such a tag or plate shall be issued for each vehicle used by the hauler.
(3) The metal tag or plate required under this section shall be attached to each vehicle used for transporting or hauling livestock in a conspicuous place in an upright position on the rear of the vehicle. When livestock is transported in a trailer type vehicle propelled or drawn by a motor truck or tractor, each such trailer shall have the tag or plate attached to the rear of the trailer in a conspicuous place in an upright position, and it shall not be necessary to have a tag attached to the motor truck or tractor.
(4) Persons engaged in the business of transporting or hauling livestock in the state shall, upon receiving such livestock for transportation, issue a waybill or bill of lading for all livestock transported or hauled by them, and such waybill or bill of lading shall accompany the shipment of livestock, with a copy thereof being furnished to the person delivering livestock to the hauler. The waybill or bill of lading shall show the place of origin and destination of the shipment, the name of the owner of the livestock, date and time of loading, name of person or company hauling the livestock, and the number of animals and a general description thereof. The waybill or bill of lading shall be signed by the person delivering the livestock to the hauler certifying that the information contained thereon is correct.
534.091. Claim of ownership without title
It shall be unlawful for any person, firm or corporation to have the possession of livestock or carcasses of livestock under claim of ownership when in fact said person, firm, or corporation does not own said livestock or carcasses of livestock.
Any person who shall violate the provisions of §§ 534.011-534.091, either by doing anything forbidden, or failing to do and perform anything required hereby, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in § 775.082 or § 775.083.
In addition to the remedies provided in this chapter, and notwithstanding the existence of any adequate remedy at law, the department is hereby authorized to make application for injunction to a circuit court or circuit judge and such circuit court or circuit judge shall have jurisdiction upon hearing and for cause shown to grant a temporary or permanent injunction, or both, restraining any person from violating or continuing to violate any of the provisions of this chapter, or for failing or refusing to comply with the requirements of this chapter, or any rule or regulation duly promulgated as in this chapter authorized, such injunction to be issued without bond.
Amended in 1997.
Reviewed by AAHS in July 2001.
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