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A livestock "dealer" is anyone engaged in the business of buying, selling or negotiating the transfer of livestock. "Dealer" includes, but is not limited to, stockyards, auction markets, buying stations and concentration points. IC 15-2.1-2-13. Livestock dealers must be licensed under state law.
State law allows some exemptions to the livestock dealer license requirement:
The Indiana State Board of Animal Health issues livestock dealer licenses in three classifications:
There is currently no fee for a license.
Agents of market facilities and individual dealers must be listed on the license application. The principal may later add or delete an agent's name by sending a written request to the State Veterinarian's office for approval.
A livestock dealer may not designate an agent whose dealer license was suspended or revoked in any state within the last two years. A licensee must request the deletion of an agent from his license immediately upon learning of the revocation of an agent's dealer license by any state.
Any act or omission that falls within the livestock dealer's business relationship is considered an act of the principal license holder.
State law requires every dealer to execute and maintain a bond. Each dealer buying and selling livestock across state lines must obtain a U.S. Department of Agriculture, Packers and Stockyards bond as required by federal law. Further bond coverage is not required for those individuals if the bond amount and terms meet the requirements of Indiana law.
Indiana's required bond amount is equal to the nearest multiple of $5,000 above the average sales, purchases, and transfers of livestock by the dealer during two business days. Average amount is calculated based on 260 working days in the previous 12 months. Start-up or new businesses must estimate the amount, which is subject to adjustment.
Bond amount guidelines:
1. All bonds must be at least $10,000.
2. Where the required amount of the bond exceeds $50,000, the bond amount is equal to $50,000 plus 10% of the excess.
A blanket bond can be secured in lieu of individual bonds for businesses under the same ownership.
Bond coverage must be adjusted annually, prior to license renewal if necessary to reflect the gross amount of business transacted during the 12-month period. The surety on the bond must be a surety company authorized to do business in Indiana.
Scales used to weigh livestock are subject to inspection by the Weights and Measures Division of the Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH).
Fraudulent, deceptive or dishonest practices in weighing livestock constitute grounds for the license revocation and other penalties under Indiana law.
Livestock dealers are required to keep records of their transactions. Records must fully disclose the true ownership of the business. The dealer's records shall fully and correctly disclose all purchases, sales, or transfers involving livestock, including:
Making (or causing to be made) a false entry or statement in any report or record is illegal. As is willfully removing, destroying, changing or concealing the true identity or identification of any animal required by state or federal law to be identified.
All license-holders (and their agents/employees) must, upon request during ordinary business hours, permit authorized representatives of the BOAH to enter the licensee's place of business to examine records, accounts, and memoranda pertinent to livestock transactions made in connection with the business. The inspector may make copies of those records, memoranda or accounts, and inspect the property and facilities used in connection with the business. Required records must be kept open for inspection by BOAH for two years.
Failure to comply with the livestock dealer licensing law may result in criminal charges, fines, injunctions and the revocation or suspension of a license.
For more information about livestock dealer licensing consult the Livestock Dealer Act IC 15-2.1-14, and the dealer licensing rule 345 IAC 7-3.5.
For information about a United States Department of Agriculture Packers and Stockyards bond contact USDA-GIPSA.
To download a livestock dealer licensing form click here.
For more information about Board of Animal Health licenses contact the licensing division: