(a) Any livestock owner who uses a brand to identify his or her livestock must register such brand by applying to the department. The application shall be made on forms prescribed and furnished by the department, which application shall be accompanied by a fee established by the Alabama Board of Agriculture and Industries for the first position on the animal on which the brand appears and a fee established by the Board of Agriculture and Industries for each additional position of the animal on which the brand appears. A facsimile of the brand to be registered shall also be furnished by the applicant.
If the brand described in the application or one similar or closely resembling a registered brand has not been previously registered by another livestock owner and the brand complies with standards and requirements of brands acceptable for registration as prescribed by the board pursuant to regulations, then the department shall approve the application, register the brand in the name of the applicant, and issue to the applicant a certificate of registration. In the event the department denies registration of a brand for any reason, the registration fee established by the board shall be returned to the person making application for registration.
(b) When a livestock owner transfers a registered brand to another, the owner shall immediately notify the department of the transfer, giving the date of transfer, brand identity, and the name of the transferee. Upon receipt of the notice of transfer and a transfer fee established by the board, the department shall cause the transfer to be made in its register of brands. The brand shall not be used by the new owner until permission has been given by the department.
(c) The provisions of this article shall not be construed to require any owner of livestock to brand his or her livestock unless the owner voluntarily elects to do so in compliance with the registration requirements of this article.