81-3-204. Seizure of livestock -- retention of livestock -- sale -- disposal of proceeds. (1) All state stock inspectors inspecting any livestock before or after shipment or removal from any county in this state, upon a change of ownership, or at the preslaughter inspection at a licensed slaughterhouse may inspect and seize either at the point of sale, shipment, destination, or slaughter or en route any livestock or proceeds from livestock that the inspector believes are stolen or upon which brands have been altered or obliterated or that does not conform to the description contained on the tally sheet furnished by the shipper or to the description contained in any certificate of inspection or release issued before shipment or removal of the livestock.
(2) Upon taking possession of livestock under this section, a state stock inspector may retain the livestock in the inspector's possession for 15 days to make further investigation relative to its ownership. A state stock inspector may either at once or at any time within 15 days sell the livestock at a licensed livestock market or in the open market for the best available price and remit the proceeds, less the cost of keeping and sale, to the department together with a full description of the livestock sold, giving marks and brands, if any, and a statement of the reason for the seizure and sale. The proceeds must be deposited by the department with the state treasurer and credited to the department fund, where it is subject to claim by the owner of the livestock in the same manner and for the same length of time as is provided by law for the making of claims for moneys arising from the sale of stray stock.