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For Immediate Release

May 18, 2012
Steve Merritt
Public Information Officer
Montana Department of Livestock
406-444-9431

Master Brand Book Now Available Online

The Montana Department of Livestock’s master brand book is now up to date and available on the web.

“We’ve had a lot of calls from people about the new brand book, and now they can see it online,” said John Grainger, administrator for the department’s Brands Enforcement Division.

The brand book, commonly referred to as the “brands bible,” is updated every 10 years after rerecord, and features all of the brands available in the state. It’s posted on the department’s web site as a 6-part PDF file, which users can view online or download to their computers for off-line review. The book has never before been available online; those who wanted to see it had to make a trip to the department’s Helena headquarters.

“This will make it a lot easier for brand applicants,” Grainger said. “Montana is a pretty big state, and it was tough for some people to make the trip to Helena.”

The book includes brands vacated during the recent rerecord, but Grainger cautioned that not all vacated brands will be available for purchase, and that not all of the brands listed in the book will be available.

“All of the brands we issue must be checked for conflicts with other brands, and must be in a format we still issue,” Grainger explained.

Checking for conflicts means that the brand the applicant is applying for must be compared to other brands in the applicant’s area. If it’s too similar – i.e., if it’s something that can be easily altered to look like another brand – it can’t be issued.

“In other words, just because it’s in the brand book doesn’t necessarily mean that brand will be available to you.” Grainger said.

County brand books, which list issued brands and owners by county, are also up to date and available to order.

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