For Immediate Release: July 28, 2011
Contact: Carmen Fenton, 512-469-0171
FORT WORTH, TEXAS – The Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association (TSCRA) reminds ranchers that the next brand re-registration period opens Aug. 30, 2011 and concludes 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 TSCRA, says that branding is the number one 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 TSCRA was approximately 7,700, an increase of 220% from 2007.
TSCRA 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, TSCRA 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 TSCRA 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 U.S.
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 says 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, TSCRA 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.
The Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association is a 134-year-old trade organization. As the largest and oldest livestock association in Texas, TSCRA represents more than 15,000 beef cattle producers, ranching families and businesses who manage approximately 4 million head of cattle on 79.5 million acres of range and pasture land, primarily in Texas and Oklahoma. TSCRA provides law enforcement and livestock inspection services, legislative and regulatory advocacy, industry news and information, insurance services and educational opportunities for its members and the industry.