Brand Reform Bill now includes accountability and enforceability

Still awaiting equity

This week the Nebraska Legislature acted further on LB572 which reforms the Nebraska Livestock Brand Act. Sen. Steve Erdman, R-District 47, withdrew his AM484 and replaced it with AM686; this new amendment passed and was adopted. Erdman’s amendment exclusively included two of ICON’s proposals.

Sen. Erdman’s AM686 put to pen two of the Independent Cattlemen of Nebraska’s core proposals. These proposals were brought to the senator this past week, as well as to the Brand Committee and Brand Task Force earlier this year and the last quarter of 2020. The Amendment includes ICON’s proposals requiring:

• The Nebraska Legislature to approve the governor’s appointments to the Nebraska Brand Committee. (Accountability)

• Require Penalties and Enforcement of penalties for removing, damaging or replacing any radio frequency identification tags (RFID’s/non-visual identifiers) as there are no laws or penalties in place for this, however, there are laws and penalties for altering hot brands. (Enforceability)

Erdman’s amendment for enforceability regarding non-visual identifiers is now the same as for altering hot brands, which is a “Class III Felony.”

Don Cain, ICON board member stressed that independent inspection, verification, enforcement and penalties are essential requirements for an effective Statewide Livestock Ownership Verification system.

Although all of ICON’s proposals have not yet been adopted, the board will continue to promote what is right and fair for the independent cattlemen/women and producers of Nebraska.

One important issue which was not advanced to the legislative floor is that of equity.

This equity comes in part by way of eliminating the registered feedyard program; this elimination will restore a level playing field among cattle owners when it comes to fees for ID inspections, renewals and services.

The need for equity was addressed in AM484 and is part of LB614 which ICON still strongly supports.

“All in all,” Director Don Cain said, “It was a good day for the Independent Cattlemen of Nebraska – The ‘Voice of the Mother Cow’ has been heard.” Now let’s see if we can get the bills passed.


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