The Nebraska Brand Committee may use electronic devices, nose prints, retinal scans or DNA matches to identify cattle under a bill passed by lawmakers May 20.
LB572, introduced by Hastings Sen. Steve Halloran, allows the committee to provide for electronic inspection of enrolled cattle identified by certain approved nonvisual identifiers.
The committee will establish procedures for cattle enrollment that include providing acceptable certification or evidence of ownership and submit a report to the Legislature describing actions taken to implement electronic inspection. Electronic inspection does not require committee employees to be present.
The bill creates an electronic inspection fee of no more than 85 cents per head and lowers the physical brand inspection fee to the same amount. The new fee schedule takes effect Oct. 1, 2021, and ends June 30, 2023.
LB572 also increases fees for new brand applications and brand renewals and authorizes the committee to charge for actual mileage incurred by an inspector to perform a physical inspection.
Additionally, the bill requires the committee to provide a certified bill of sale and a certified transportation permit to qualified dairies that sell or move calves under 30 days of age out of the brand inspection area. Dairies first must provide required information electronically to the committee.
LB572 also makes violations of several Livestock Brand Act provisions infractions enforceable by citation. The bill makes it a Class III felony to willfully or knowingly apply, remove, damage or alter an approved nonvisual identifier — or corrupt the information recorded on an identifier — if it is done to steal or falsely assert ownership of livestock.
Finally, under LB572, appointments to the committee are subject to confirmation by the Legislature.
The bill passed on a vote of 47-1.