Branding Iron


Stan Misek
Chief Brand Inspector,
With fall herd work and calf marketing well underway, I want to remind you to call the NDSA office or your county sheriff if you find any estray livestock mixed in your herd. That way, we can get a brand inspector out to your ranch to look at the animals; hopefully, determine who their owners are; and record the date that notification was received. The notification date is important to you when an animal is an estray, since any reimbursement is based upon the number of days the animal was in your care, and the clock starts ticking once the report is given to law enforcement.
The NDSA Brand Board reviews claims for feed and mileage to the nearest auction market based on a standardized schedule. When you deliver an estray to the nearest market, be sure to let the brand inspector there know that it is an estray as well. He or she will have a form for you to fill out to make a claim. The claim will be forwarded to the NDSA office and, ultimately, reviewed by the Brand Board at its next meeting for approval to pay if the request meets the guidelines set forth in state law.
North Dakota Century Code (NDCC 4.1-75-02) requires an individual who discovers an estray on their property to make a good-faith effort to take possession of the estray, determine its ownership and facilitate its return.
It also requires an individual to follow the steps provided in this column if the animal’s owner is unknown. Anyone who takes possession of an estray and willfully fails to comply with the chapter is guilty of a class B misdemeanor.
It’s always a good practice to check your herd closely, since one of your neighbor’s calves may have crawled through the fence and gotten mixed in with yours.
I hope you are having a good fall and have been able to get caught up on your work.


North Dakota Stockmen's Association * 407 S. 2nd St. * Bismarck, ND 58504 * 701-223-2522 *