Arizona Livestock Board History

While working on a new Policy and Procedures Manual for the folks in the field who now report to the State Veterinarian, I came across the following. It was the preface in a policy manual dated September, 1992.

I can’t attest to its accuracy though the details do coincide with many things I have heard in the time I’ve been in Arizona. It does make for some interesting reading as well as provide perspective on the road from where we were to where we are today.


On March 10, 1887, a law passed by the Territorial legislature created a three-member Territorial Livestock Sanitary Commission which included provisions for the appointment of a Territorial Veterinary Surgeon. The Governor of the territory, C. Meyer Zullick, at the State Capitol in Prescott, was to nominate a skilled veterinary surgeon for the position who would serve for a period of two years unless removed sooner by the Commission.

On March 19, 1891, the Commission was empowered to appoint livestock inspectors to enforce livestock laws.

On March 21, 1895, the Livestock Code was revised, and brand owners were required to register their brands in the office of the Livestock Commission. Previously they had been recorded by the county.

In 1897 all county livestock brands were transferred to the Territorial Livestock Sanitary Board Office.

Arizona’s first Brand Book was published about 1897.

Arizona attained Statehood February 14, 1912, and the Territorial Livestock Commission became the Livestock Sanitary Board.

In 1931 a law was passed by the Arizona State Legislature requiring re-registration of livestock brands every ten years. A new Brand Book was published after each re-registration.

In 1939 the “Conflict Law” was passed preventing the recording of a brand that resembles a previously recorded brand, especially for the same general location on the animal.

In 1985 a law was passed by the Arizona Legislature requiring re-registration of livestock brands every five years.

In 1990 the Arizona Department of Agriculture (AZDA) was created and the Livestock Board became the foundation for the Animal Services Division of the AZDA.

There are approximately 15,000 brands registered by the Brand Office.

For those with an interest, the folks at Google have digitized a copy of the 1887 Revised Statutes of Arizona (which bears a New York Public Library stamp from 1899) which is referenced in the opening of that preface. You’ll have to draw your own conclusions as to its authenticity.

Now roughly 20 years later there are approximately 12,250 registered brands with a little over 2000 active. It seems most folks like to hang on to a little piece of history or their heritage even when they don’t have any livestock to brand.