The State of Texas requires that brands be re-registered in the county or counties where the owner operates every 10 years.
Larry Gray, executive director of law enforcement at TSCRA, says that branding is the number one way to prevent livestock theft. Livestock theft continues to be a common problem throughout the United States, especially with recent record high cattle prices.
TSCRA was established in 1877 to help prevent and solve agricultural crimes. Since then, the association’s law enforcement division has expanded to include 30 special rangers stationed throughout Texas and Oklahoma who work alongside local law enforcement agencies to protect citizens 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 livestock thieves and the recovery of hundreds of thousands of stolen livestock.
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.
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.
TSCRA is a 135 year-old trade association and is the largest and oldest livestock organization based in Texas. TSCRA has over 15,000 beef cattle operations, ranching families and businesses as members. These members represent approximately 50,000 individuals directly involved in ranching and beef production in the Southwest.