Montana Department of Livestock adds online listing of local brand inspectors |

Montana Department of Livestock adds online listing of local brand inspectors

Need to find a local brand inspector to move those cows? The Montana Department of Livestock (MDOL) has made the process easy by supplementing its online market and sheep permits with an online listing of local brand inspectors.

“We’ve tried to make getting the necessary permits for moving livestock as easy as possible,” said John Grainger, Brands Division administrator for MDOL. “Producers can get online market transportation and sheep permits 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and can now easily find local inspectors as well.”

Local inspectors have long been a fundamental part of MDOL’s field operations. Classified as volunteers who provide a service for the industry, more than 500 local inspectors scattered around the state inspect more than 1.8 million cattle a year. An online market or sheep permit will get a producer’s livestock to market, but transferring ownership or moving livestock out of country requires an inspection.

To find a local brand inspector, go to the department’s Web site at, click on “Brands Enforcement,” then click on “District Investigators & Offices.” Local inspectors will be listed by name, city and telephone number.

Prior to the online listing, livestock producers often had to call the Helena office to get contact information for local inspectors, which sometimes resulted in lost time.

“The listing, combined with the only permit system, should eliminate any waiting, lost time or frustration,” Grainger said.

All of the necessary permits for moving livestock can also be written by district investigators or at any of the state’s 13 brand offices, which are also listed at the same address.

Board of Livestock chair Jan French, one of four cattle industry representatives on the board, said local inspectors have played a big role in the department’s 125 year history, and still play a major role .

“Local inspectors see and handle a lot of livestock,” French said. “They know and work with local producers – their kids grow up and go to school together – and we appreciate all of their hard work and effort. Montana is a cattle state, and local inspectors help things run smoothly.”

The new online listing of local inspectors continues the department’s efforts to upgrade its online capabilities. Other offerings added the past two years include online livestock dealer licensing and dealer licensing renewal, estray notices, a brand rerecord address update form, and a per capita fee calculator.