Frequently Asked Questions - Law Enforcement
If you believe livestock or equipment have been stolen from you
1. Contact your local police or sheriff.
2. Then, contact your TSCRA special ranger.
3. Or contact TSCRA at 800-242-7820 or 817-332-7064.
Be prepared with answers to as many of these questions as possible to help the investigators with your case. Download the questions below as a form in pdf.
Your telephone, cell phone and fax numbers. If you are a TSCRA member, give your membership number and we will retrieve your contact information.
Case number from your local law enforcement agency
What was stolen?
When do you think the livestock or equipment was stolen?
Can you estimate the time of day, the day of the week, or a range of dates?
When did you last see the missing livestock or equipment?
Was there any physical evidence left at the scene?
Please describe the evidence.
Were there any identifying marks on the livestock or equipment, such as:
- ID number
- serial number
- ear notches
- marks or scars
Was your drivers license number anywhere on the equipment?
Do you have photos?
Do you have a suspect in mind?
Have you seen any suspicious vehicles in your area? Can you describe them?
Were there any witnesses? How can we contact the witness or witnesses?
No, special rangers have no jurisdiction in regards to civil issues.
Your county sheriff is responsible for handling stray livestock.
According to Chapter 142 of the Texas Agriculture Code,
If an estray, without being herded with other livestock, roams about the property of a person without that person’s permission or roams about public property, the owner of the private property or the custodian of the public property, as applicable, shall, as soon as reasonably possible, report the presence of the estray to the sheriff of the county in which the estray is discovered.
Please assist the sheriff by providing the location, number and description of the estray livestock.
No, that would be considered stealing. Contact your local sheriff and your special ranger.
Notify the owner of cattle to remove them. If cattle are on your property and you do not know the owner, then notify the sheriff so cattle can be removed. Texas sheriffs are authorized by the Texas Agriculture Code to handle matters regarding estray, or stray, livestock.
If it is a boundary fence, both parties share in the upkeep of the fence. If the fence is on an individual’s property, it is that individual’s responsibility to maintain the fence. Fence disputes are civil matters so, unfortunately, TSCRA special rangers cannot assist with fence disputes.
No, but posted signs are a great deterrent to trespassing and your probability of getting trespassers prosecuted is far greater than not posting the property. Posting “No Trespassing” signs also helps to insulate the landowner from liability, should uninvited persons be injured on your property.
In Texas and Oklahoma, purple paint is a method of prohibiting trespassing. The purple paint is one alternative to posting “No Trespassing” signs.
Marks & Brands
No, branding is not required in Texas or Oklahoma. However, the brand must be registered if you do brand livestock.
In Texas, brands are registered by the county clerk of the county in which you run livestock. The brand must be registered by the county clerk for that brand to be considered a legal means of ownership.
In Oklahoma the State Board of Agriculture is responsible for brand registration.
Yes. In Texas brands have to be re-registered every 10 years. The next brand re-registration period will begin Aug. 31, 2021.
If you do not re-register within that period, then your brand is up for grabs by someone else. Brands must be re-registered within that period regardless of the date it was originally registered. -Section 144.04 Texas Agriculture Code
In Oklahoma brands are re-registered every five years and is the responsibility of the State Board of Agriculture (Title 2-4-7 of the Oklahoma Agriculture Code). While brand re-registration dates are not specified, the code explains that the owners of currently registered brands will be notified about the re-registration period.
Texas brands are registered on a county-by-county basis; therefore, another individual can have the same brand registered in the same location on livestock in another county. The same brand can be used within the same county by another individual as long as it is registered and branded in a different location on the livestock. The location of the brand is as important as the brand itself.
Oklahoma brands are registered on a statewide basis, so no identical brands may be registered.
Sale & Shipment of Livestock
A bill of sale is required that includes a description of each head of livestock, including marks and brands.
Normally no health papers are required. However, health papers may be required by the Texas Animal Health Commission if livestock are being moved from a quarantine area or a tick zone.
Health papers are always required. We suggest checking with the state veterinarian in the destination state to see what is required. If livestock are being moved to a mandatory brand state, then a brand inspection certificate is required. Most of the states in the western U.S. are mandatory brand states. TSCRA special rangers can inspect and furnish a brand inspection certificate for livestock being moved to a mandatory brand state.