Tooele Transcript Bulletin – News in Tooele, Utah

September 27, 2012
Keep horses up to date on brand, health inspections for easier travel

As the hunting season is upon us, many people take their horses out to hunt, and some may even be crossing state lines. It is also that season where there are many high school rodeos and horse shows that people travel to, so I thought it would be a great time to talk about brand inspections and requirements.

I have heard many people say branding is a waste of time and money. However, these branding documents prove ownership of your horses. There has been an uprising of horse thefts throughout the state, and often there is no way to prove ownership because there has been no brand inspection done.

It is also recommended, but not required, that horse owners record a brand with the state and brand all of their horses. You can use either a freeze or hot iron. Although branding your horse is not required, it is required by law that you have a brand inspection done. You must get this inspection done even if your horse is not branded.

By law, you must do this whenever your horse leaves the state or changes ownership. You can easily obtain the proper documentation by calling the Tooele County Sheriff’s Office and scheduling to have the brand inspector come see the horse and complete the required paperwork. You can chose to obtain a 72-hour, one-way travel inspection for $10 or a yearly travel inspection, which is good for one calendar year for the cost of $15. A lifetime travel permit inspection, which is honored in all states and Canada and is good for the lifetime of your horse, can be purchased for $25. A lifetime permit is also transferable.

When traveling anywhere within the state, you should always carry proof of ownership. This may include a brand inspection certificate or an auction invoice showing where you purchased the animal.

Keep in mind that a bill of sale is not accepted as proof of ownership. Including you brand inspection travel permit, you should also carry with you your wallet-sized brand card, matching the brand on the horse and registration papers transferred to current owner. If you are transporting horses other than your own, always carry written permission as well.

There are also health requirements that must be complete when crossing state lines with your horses, cattle, sheep or swine. These are put in place to reduce the risk of spreading disease from other states. You must obtain a valid health certificate from a veterinarian in the state of origin. You must have also obtained a negative coggins test from your vet within the last year to travel state to state. Animals may move freely within the state without any health requirements.

The present brand and health programs have been developed by a board of Utah livestock men and women for Utah livestock men and women.


Understanding and training horses is in Shamus Haws’ blood, but his passion is helping horses with human problems. Shamus Haws Horsemanship offers private training, clinics, lessons and colt starting services. Visit or call (801)541-9228 to learn more.

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