Some Nebraska feedlot operators are fed up with the Nebraska Livestock Brand Act, filing a civil complaint against the Nebraska Brand Committee and executive director William Bunce in U.S. District Court on Tuesday.
According to the Lincoln Journal Star, the Nebraska Beef Producers Committee, a nonprofit group representing cattle producers with feedlots across the state, say the Brand Act is unconstitutional and are asking the state to not enforce it. The Brand Act requires cattle being moved outside or sold within the brand inspection area — the western two-thirds of Nebraska — to be inspected.
The Nebraska Brand Committee keeps records of those brands, inspects cattle to verify ownership ,and investigates missing and stolen livestock. Last year, a July report released by the state auditor raised questions about the management of the brand inspection agency at the time.
The producers say that waiting for inspectors can lead to cattle weight loss, lost profits, and sometimes lost contracts. It can also be quite costly. Also with electronic identification devices, ear tags, and brands to track and identify animals, most feedlots are already taking precautions against cattle theft.