Chapter 947: PROPERTY IDENTIFICATION

947.01 Property identification definitions.

As used in this chapter:

(A) "Brand" means a distinctive design, mark of identification, or number that is applied to the hide of livestock by a hot iron or other humane method approved by the director of agriculture and is currently registered under section 947.02 of the Revised Code.

(B) "Livestock" means cattle, sheep, goats, and other animals of the family bovidae, swine and other animals of the family suidae, horses, mules, burros, asses, and other animals of the family equidae, alpacas, and llamas.

(C) "Person" includes an individual, firm, association, partnership, corporation, or other legal entity, and the state and any of its agencies, institutions, instrumentalities, or political subdivisions.

Effective Date: 04-04-1985; 2008 HB352 08-16-2008

947.02 Central registry of livestock brands.

(A) The director of agriculture shall record livestock brands and maintain a central registry of brands. The director shall publish a booklet of brands registered pursuant to this section, containing a facsimile of each registered brand and the name and address of the individual to whom it is registered. The director shall update or supplement the booklet at least once annually and shall provide copies of the booklet and any updating or supplemental materials, free of charge, to all state and county law enforcement agencies in Ohio. The director shall also provide copies of the booklet and updating or supplemental materials to the public upon request and payment of a fee established by the director. The fee shall reasonably relate to the cost of printing and mailing the booklet and materials.

(B) A person owning livestock in this state may apply to register and obtain the right to exclusive use of a brand by filing an application with the director on a form approved and provided by the director. The director shall register a brand received upon application and payment of the fee authorized by this section unless the brand submitted is identical to or, in the director's opinion, so similar to a brand previously recorded as to cause confusion as to the identity or ownership of livestock. If the director rejects an application, he shall return a facsimile brand submitted with the application, refund the recording fee, and explain the basis for the rejection to the applicant.

(C) If the director accepts an application, he shall record and maintain the brand in the central registry of the department, furnish the applicant with a certificate as evidence of the registration, and inform the applicant that he has, from the date of filing, exclusive right to the use of the brand in this state.

(D) If the director receives two or more acceptable applications for the same or a similar brand, he shall make a determination as to which application will be accepted. In making this determination, the director shall consider all factors he deems relevant, including, but not limited to, the length of time that any of the applicants have used the brand prior to applying for registration under this section.

(E) The director may not concurrently register more than one brand name in the name of the owner of livestock in this state.

(F) Registration of a brand is for five years. Registrations may be renewed for periods of five years under procedures prescribed by rule of the director.

(G) The director shall establish, by rule, fees for the registration, renewal, reinstatement, and reregistration of brands under this section and section 947.03 of the Revised Code. The fees shall be reasonably related to the cost of the transaction, but shall not exceed twenty-five dollars.

(H) In any civil or criminal proceedings in this state in which title to or ownership of livestock is in dispute, a certificate of registration issued pursuant to division (C) of this section or of reregistration issued pursuant to section 945.03 of the Revised Code is prima facie evidence of ownership by the holder of the certificate of all livestock bearing the brand described in the certificate.

Effective Date: 04-04-1985

947.03 Reregistration of brands.

A brand currently registered under section 947.02 of the Revised Code is personal property of the person in whose name it is registered and may be sold, assigned, transferred, or bequeathed or pass under the laws of descent and distribution as other personal property. However, the buyer or other assignee or transferee of a currently registered brand shall apply to the director of agriculture on a form prescribed and provided by the director for the reregistration of the brand in the name of the buyer, assignee, or other transferee. On receipt of the application, fee, and such proof of sale or assignment that the director may require, the director shall reregister the brand in the name of the buyer, assignee, or other transferee.

Effective Date: 04-04-1985

947.04 Bill of sale for branded livestock sales - waybill or bills of lading for transported livestock.

(A) A person who sells livestock branded with a brand shall execute to the purchaser a written bill of sale bearing the signature and residence of the seller, the name and address of the purchaser, the total number of livestock sold, a description of each animal sold as to sex and kind, and identification of the brand and shall give a copy of the bill of sale to each hauler of livestock, other than railroads, to accompany the shipment of livestock while in transit. The bill of sale or a copy shall be shown by the possessor on demand to any law enforcement officer. The bill of sale is prima-facie evidence of the conveyance of title of the livestock described by the bill of sale.

(B) A person engaged in the business of transporting or hauling livestock in this state shall, upon receiving livestock for transportation, issue a waybill or bill of lading for all livestock transported or hauled. The waybill or bill of lading shall accompany the shipment of livestock and a copy shall be furnished to the person delivering livestock to the hauler. The waybill or bill of lading shall show the place of origin and destination of the shipment, the name of the owner of the livestock, the date and time of loading, the name of person or company hauling the livestock, the number of livestock and a general description thereof, and identification of the brands. The waybill or bill of lading shall be signed by the person delivering the livestock to the hauler certifying that the information contained therein is correct.

Effective Date: 04-04-1985

947.05 Livestock brand offenses.

(A) No person, with purpose to deprive the owner of livestock and without privilege to do so, shall knowingly apply a brand to livestock owned by another or knowingly destroy or alter a brand on livestock owned by another.

(B) No person shall knowingly offer to sell, sell, purchase, or transport livestock on which a brand has been destroyed or altered for the purpose of depriving the owner of the livestock.

(C) No person, without privilege to do so, shall knowingly use a brand registered to another.

(D) No person shall knowingly apply a brand to livestock in a way that overlaps, disfigures, mutilates, or destroys a brand or other mark of identification or ownership previously applied.

Effective Date: 04-04-1985

947.06 Administrative rules.

(A) The director of agriculture shall adopt rules, subject to Chapter 119. of the Revised Code, to implement, administer, and enforce this chapter. No person shall violate such a rule of the director.

(B) In cooperation with law enforcement officers in this and other states, the director shall develop a uniform procedure for notifying livestock marketing and slaughtering establishments of reported livestock thefts and of any brands or other identifying marks on such livestock.

(C) Moneys received by the director under sections 947.01 to 947.06 of the Revised Code shall be deposited in the brand registration fund, which is hereby created in the state treasury. The director shall spend moneys from the fund to pay the costs and expenses of administering sections 947.01 to 947.06 of the Revised Code.

Effective Date: 07-01-1985

947.11 Identification number registration for farm equipment, livestock and grain - fund.

The director of agriculture may, by rule adopted under Chapter 119. of the Revised Code, establish and administer a program for registering identification numbers for farm equipment, livestock, and grain. The rules may provide for a central registry of identification numbers, the transfer, renewal, reinstatement, and reregistration of numbers, for fees, assuring that registrants are entitled to exclusive use of a number during periods of current registration, and other matters necessary and convenient for administration or enforcement of the program.

Moneys received by the director pursuant to rules adopted under this section shall be deposited in the identification number fund, which is hereby created in the state treasury. The director shall spend moneys from the fund to pay the costs and expenses of administering this section.

Effective Date: 07-01-1985

947.99 Penalty.

(A) Whoever violates section 947.04 of the Revised Code is guilty of a misdemeanor of the second degree.

(B) Whoever violates division (A) or (B) of section 947.05 of the Revised Code is guilty of a felony of the fourth degree.

(C) Whoever violates division (C) of section 947.05 of the Revised Code is guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree.

(D) Whoever violates division (D) of section 947.05 of the Revised Code is guilty of a minor misdemeanor.

(E) Whoever violates a rule of the director of agriculture adopted under section 947.06 or 947.11 of the Revised Code is guilty of a misdemeanor of the third degree.

Effective Date: 07-01-1996