A state board has approved an increase in the fee for livestock inspections designed to prevent the theft of cattle, horses and mules in western South Dakota.
The Brand Board voted 4-1 Friday to raise the inspection fee from 90 cents a head to $1. Brand Board director Larry Stearns says the higher fee will likely take effect July 1 if a legislative panel approves it.
Stearns says the fee increase is needed to cover rising costs for the inspections required before cattle, horses and mules are sold, slaughtered or moved out of the inspection area west of the Missouri River.
Board member Curt Mortenson of Fort Pierre says he expects that fewer cattle will be sold in the future because herds are being reduced due to the drought.
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