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New website assists ranchers through brand re-registration
The Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association reminds ranchers that the brand re-registration period is open until Feb. 29, 2012. The state of Texas requires that brands be re-registered in the county or counties where the owner operates.
Larry Gray, executive director of law enforcement at the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association, says that branding is the No. 1 way to prevent livestock theft, a phenomenon that is happening more and more in Texas.
In 2010, the number of cattle reported missing or stolen to the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association was approximately 7,700, an increase of 220 percent from 2007.
The Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association was established in 1877 to help prevent and solve agricultural crimes. Since then, the association’s law-enforcement division has expanded to include 29 special rangers stationed throughout Texas and Oklahoma who work alongside local law-enforcement agencies to protect rural Texans against agricultural crimes, including livestock theft.
Although Texas does not have a statewide brand registry database, the cattle raisers association has market inspectors stationed at 105 Texas livestock auctions that collect brands and other identifying marks on 4 million cattle sold annually. They report this information to the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers headquarters in Fort Worth, where it is entered into the nation’s largest brand recording and retrieval system. This system currently houses more than 102,000 brands, the largest brand registry in the United States.
This database is the first source checked when livestock is reported stolen, and has aided in the arrests of cattle thieves and the recovery of hundreds of thousands of stolen cattle.
Gray said that while Texas law does not require you to brand your cattle, he highly encourages it as a way to protect your business.
“When cattle are stolen, a rancher is losing much more than the value of that single animal or animals. They are losing the value of the offspring that animal would provide in the future,” Gray said. “In a way they are losing the factory.”
To help guide ranchers through the brand re-registration process, the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association has launched www.tscrabrands.com.
Working in conjunction with the 254 county clerk offices, this site provides all the necessary paperwork and information to register brands, as well as information on current brands, designing, and reading brands.
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