(1) Except as provided in subsections (2) and (3) of this section, no butcher, packer, or vendor engaged in the slaughter of cattle within the brand inspection area shall kill or otherwise dispose of any cattle until a brand inspection is performed by the Nebraska Brand Committee on the premises where such slaughter is to take place and until a certificate of inspection from the brand committee is filed and is made a part of such operator's permanent records. All such certificates of inspection shall, upon demand, be displayed to any peace officer or to the brand committee at any time.
(2) If cattle requiring inspection under this section are to be slaughtered and are purchased by such butcher, packer, or vendor at a regularly brand-inspected sales barn and are destined for direct slaughter upon reaching their destination, the brand inspector at such sales barn shall be advised that such cattle are destined for direct slaughter. The brand inspector shall then issue a certificate of inspection for the cattle, such certificate to indicate that the cattle are to go to direct slaughter and that the cattle are not to be retained by such butcher, packer, or vendor for longer than ninety-six hours prior to slaughter. Cattle inspected at the point of origin by a brand inspector shall not require an additional brand inspection upon reaching a destination within the state if the certificate of inspection designates that the cattle are to go directly for slaughter and not to be retained by such butcher, packer, or vendor longer than ninety-six hours prior to slaughter.
(3) If cattle required to be inspected under this section are offered for slaughter and satisfactory evidence of ownership has not been provided, the butcher, packer, or vendor may, with the approval of the brand inspector, slaughter the cattle and hold the meat until such time as satisfactory evidence of ownership is provided to the brand committee. The brand inspector shall provide the butcher, packer, or vendor with an official notice advising the operator not to release the meat until authorized by the brand committee. The brand committee may provide for a cash bond to be posted with the executive director of the brand committee so that the meat may be released prior to the establishment of satisfactory evidence of ownership. The amount of the bond shall be set at the approximate value of the cattle. When satisfactory evidence of ownership has been provided by the person offering the cattle for slaughter, the executive director shall authorize the release of the meat or the return of the bond.
(4) A violation of this section is an infraction. A peace officer shall have the authority to write a citation, which shall be waivable, to offenders in violation of this section. A fine under this section shall not exceed two hundred dollars per head for each offense. Violations shall be charged in the county in which the offense occurred.