The South Dakota Brand Board received unanimous approval Tuesday to increase livestock inspection fees for the second time in a year, raising the fee to a dollar.
A legislative panel approved the 10-cent increase for inspections on cattle, horses and mules to help prevent livestock theft. The increase, taking effect July 1, will keep the Brand Board’s budget in the black for the foreseeable future.
The fee is necessary for animals are sold, slaughtered or moved out of the inspection area in the state west of the Missouri River. Fewer animals have threatened the board’s budget.
The Associated Press reports the program has been inspecting about 1.5 million head of cattle a year, but that is likely to drop to 1.2 million head this year because of the drought.
The fee increase was supported by the South Dakota Cattlemens Association but opposed by the Stockgrowers Association.