Horse and cattle owners gathered in a Pinedale library to discuss the county's enforcement of state brand inspection laws on December 30th, 2019.
Up for discussion was the stopping of trucks and livestock trailers to check for proper paperwork under Wyoming State Statute 11-12-103a which allows law enforcement to stop and search a livestock trailer to ensure owners have proper brand inspections when moving stock between counties.
At the root of the debate, is the claims that the law was unconstitutional by a veterinarian Rex Rammell, a Sweetwater County man who was given five citations while he was moving his horses to a local pasture in June. He knew the law but did not have brand inspections that allowed him to legally move the horses between counties.
A Magistrate in court agreed with the man ruled that the deputy's arrest report was inadmissible as evidence because the deputy did not have probable cause to stop him. Sublette County Attorney Mike Crosson filed a motion to reverse and vacate that ruling. Another judge transferred the motion to Albany County Circuit Court Judge Robert Castor.
Local cattle ranchers gave support for local law enforcement to enforce the stops because it helps deter livestock thefts especially since
the Wyoming Livestock Board has very limited resources with only one investigator statewide to check on missing and possibly stolen livestock.
Another attendee, Steve James, noted that if someone stole their horses they would want a deputy to pull someone over and check for paperwork.
“The laws we have might take 15 minutes of my time,” James said. “What if your horse was stolen?”
Rammell countered by stating, “I’d rather lose my horse than lose my freedom. I don’t want them stopping me.”
Read the articles at the following resources and tell Stolen Horse International what you think about enforcing livestock laws. Would you want this extra protection to help protect you and your stolen horses, cattle, or not?Resources:
Laramie Boomerang, https://www.laramieboomerang.com/news/meeting-attendees-differ-on-livestock-stops/article_b736e7c2-dcd1-54aa-b6fa-70562169cd8b.html