Colorado Horse Owners Reminded to Get Brand Inspections

This time of year sends many Colorado equestrians outside to enjoy our warm days and cool evenings, and the Colorado Department of Agriculture (CDA) is reminding owners that state statutes require a brand inspection if they plan on buying, selling, adopting, gifting, or selling horses. The inspection is necessary whether or not the horse is branded.

“Horse owners may purchase permanent horse travel permits for horses that are shipped frequently more than 75 miles within Colorado or across state lines,” said CDA’s brand commissioner Chris Whitney. “This can be a great financial savings since the permit is good for travel purposes for as long as the applicant owns the horse. 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 fiscal year 2014, approximately 4,000 permanent travel cards were issued for horses and 31,324 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.

Fees increased in January 2015 for cattle, horse, and sheep inspection; licenses and permits; brand registration fees/estray fees; brand assessment fees; and cancelled brand reinstatement fees. Those fees collected on behalf of the Colorado Beef Council and Colorado Horse Development Authority did not change. For a complete list of the new fees, visit

“Livestock inspection has been a valuable part of Colorado’s agricultural history for nearly 150 years," Whitney said. "It helps deter theft, determine ownership, return lost or stolen livestock, and creates an accurate record of livestock movement that is critical in instances of disease outbreak.”

In fiscal year 2014, brands personnel traveled over 1.2 million miles and inspected approximately 3.8 million head of livestock. In addition, they identified ownership of lost, stolen, or strayed and questionably owned livestock valued at over $60 million.

Horse and livestock owners can schedule an inspection by contacting their area brand inspector directly; contact information is available online. Owners can also contact the CDA’s Brand Inspection division at 303/869-9160 or visit

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