RENO, Nev. (KOLO) The Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe says its roundup of wild horses on its land over the last week is designed to stabilize and rehabilitate land burned in last year’s Perry Canyon Fire. There have been claims and counter claims by residents in the area about the methods and need for the roundup at all. If there is a dispute about the ownership of any of the horses, the Nevada Department of Agriculture will make that determination with the help of brand inspections.
The big Shire Thoroughbred cross horse named Beau has his own brand inspection. Years ago when he was purchased and went to his new home in south Reno, a brand inspector stopped by and documented all Beau's markings.
The inspector looked for things like his stockings, star on his forehead, coloring, gender and weight, and issued the brand inspections.
The same thing happened to a horse named Bridgid. She too has a brand inspection with her picture and markings.
Both of those inspections are kept in a truck that hauls a horse trailer. That way there is easy access should they get stopped traveling throughout Nevada, or taken out of state.
“Some people do brand their horses, but not all horses are branded and they don't have to be to have a legal proof of ownership in the form of a brand inspection. Brand inspections are completed by doing a visual inspection by one of our inspectors,” says Doug Farris, with Nevada’s Department of Agriculture.
The certificate is issued immediately.
Nevada law is a brand inspection state. That means all privately-owned cows and horses, burros, mules and pigs must have them. But not all owners do.
Farris says the law is either ignored or animal owners aren't aware of the statute. Nevertheless, 8,000 brand inspections were issued last year alone.
He says the brand inspections serve a purpose in establishing the rightful owner of the animal. The horse or cow could be stolen, and attempting to sell the animal to an unsuspecting party could be thwarted if the buyer asks for a brand inspection in Nevada.
During the roundup of horses by the Pyramid Paiute Tribe over the past couple days, the Department of Agriculture has received one brand inspection certificate from a resident who says a horse taken in the roundup is not the tribe's, but rather their privately-owned horse. The Department of Agriculture says it's looking into the claim.