No cattle, swine, or other livestock with visible symptoms of a contagious or infectious disease shall be transported or otherwise moved on any public highway or street in this State except upon written permission of the Commissioner of Agriculture or his authorized representative. The burden of proof to establish the health of any animal transported on the public highways of this State, or sold, traded, or otherwise disposed of in any public place shall be upon the vendor. Any person who shall sell, trade, or otherwise dispose of any animal affected with, or exposed to, a contagious or infectious disease, or one he has or should have reason to believe is so affected, or exposed, shall be civilly liable for all damages resulting from such sale or trade; provided that, nothing in this section shall prevent an individual who owns or has custody of sick animals from transporting sick or dead animals to a disease diagnostic laboratory operated or approved by the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services if reasonable and proper precautions to prevent the exposure of other animals is taken by the owner or transporter thereof.
It shall be a Class 1 misdemeanor to remove before slaughter any ear tag, back tag, or other mark of identification approved by the Commissioner of Agriculture for identifying animals for disease control purposes unless prior written authorization has been obtained from the State Veterinarian or his authorized representative. (1941, c. 263, s. 9; 1967, c. 894, s. 11; 1993, c. 539, s. 780; 1994, Ex. Sess., c. 24, s. 14(c); 1997-261, s. 109.)