Ranchers Fined, Ordered to Send Cattle Out of State

BISMARCK – The North Dakota State Board of Animal Health (BOAH) has fined two Morton County ranchers $5,000 and ordered them to send 78 cow-calf pairs they recently purchased to another state for failing to meet North Dakota's importation requirements.

Donald and Brandon Hatzenbuhler, Solen, bought the animals from a South Dakota dealer. Brandon Hatzenbuhler told a BOAH investigator that he believed the cattle were from South Dakota, but documentation later proved all but one of the animals were from Texas. He said he was away from his ranch when the cattle were delivered and was never presented the required health certificate.

Several states, including North Dakota, require additional tuberculosis and brucellosis testing of cattle from Texas.

The BOAH, meeting Tuesday by conference call, unanimously approved member Nathan Boehm's motion that Hatzenbuhlers be required to send all the cattle out of North Dakota within the next two weeks, and that they be fined $5,000. All but $500 of the fine is waived on condition of no further violations within the next three years.

The cattle are now quarantined on Hatzenbuhler's property.