(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