Wyoming Wants Control Of Cattle Hide Sales, Even As Leather Market Falters

A bill before the Wyoming Senate would make it easier to track the sale of transfer of slaughtered cow hides, but the market for hides might be tanking anyway.

Mark Heinz

February 14, 20242 min read

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The sale and transfer of cattle hides in Wyoming should be better documented, according to a bill before the Legislature, but the market for cow leather might be tanking.

Senate File 12 seeks to require bills of sale for hides coming from commercial slaughter, although a cattle industry expert told legislators that the market for cattle leather might be faltering as synthetic leather becomes more popular.

Keeping Track Of Sales

The Senate Agriculture, State and Public Land and Water Resources Committee voted unanimously Tuesday to forward SF 12.

“If a hide is sold to a hide buyer, the bill of sale shall accompany the hide and shall be available for inspection by an authorized Wyoming brand inspector, department inspector, sheriff or deputy sheriff during regular business hours for not less than two (2) years from the date of the sale of the hide,” according to the bill.

Shrinking Market

However, the value of cattle hides is shrinking relative to other by-products of commercial slaughter, Wyoming Livestock Board Director and CEO Steve True told the committee.

Hides are typically figured as part of the drop in market value in the cattle market business. At one time in 2014, they reached a high in prices and since, with the advent of synthetic leather and manufacturing, hides have dropped to be smaller part of that drop credit, beneath tallow, variety meats, blood and bone meal and things like that,” he said.

“It’s likely that it’s unlikely” for the leather market to rebound, he added.

Mark Heinz can be reached at mark@cowboystatedaily.com.

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Mark Heinz

Outdoors Reporter