Remember Brand Inspections for Colorado Horses

The Colorado Department of Agriculture (CDA) reminds horse owners that state statutes require a “brand” inspection if they plan on buying, selling, or transporting horses. Horse owners can purchase permanent horse travel permits for horses that are shipped frequently more than 75 miles within Colorado or across state lines. The permit is good for travel purposes for as long as the applicant owns the horse.

“The Department typically sees an increase in the number of horses being bought and sold this time of year,” said CDA’s Brand Commissioner Chris Whitney. “There has also been an increase in the number of horses in urban communities and folks need to remember to contact us for a transfer of ownership inspection.”

In 2012, approximately 4,400 permanent horse travel cards were issued and 36,300 brand inspections were performed for horse sales statewide. Inspections include identifying the animal and certifying that the shipper or seller is the legal owner prior to issuing a certificate.

The Division of Brand Inspection’s primary responsibility is to protect the livestock industry from loss by theft, illegal butchering, or straying of livestock. The division is assigned five principal regulatory responsibilities:

  1. Record and administer livestock brands;
  2. Inspect livestock and verify ownership before sale, transportation beyond 75 miles, transportation out of state, or slaughter;
  3. Inspect packing plants, livestock sale rings, and inspect all consignments before sale to verify ownership;
  4. License and inspect alternative livestock (elk and fallow deer) facilities; and
  5. Prevent and return strayed or stolen livestock and investigate reports of lost or stolen livestock.

For more information on the Division of Brand Inspection, visit

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