Commercial Agriculture Program


Spring 2008

Cattle producers encouraged to take precautions to stop cattle theft

Dick Lee, Communications Consultant

Due to reports of cattle theft in southwest Missouri, the Missouri Cattlemen’s Association- MCA-encouragers cattle producers statewide to take some basic precautions to help prevent cattle theft.

"First, be a good neighbor," said Missouri State Highway Patrolman Steve Crain. "Be inquisitive, take notice of what goes on around you. If you see something out of the ordinary, make a note of the vehicle description, the direction it is headed, and get license plate numbers if possible," Crain said. "Notify your sheriff’s department or the patrol immediately. The quicker the response the better chance the thief will be caught".

According to Crain, the common denominator in the most recent cattle theft cases is the presence of some type of structure-barn, shed, corral system-in the pasture from which the cattle are taken. The presence of a structure in the pasture helps thieves lure in and load out cattle.

The Missouri Cattlemen’s Association offers cattle producers the following tips to help prevent theft:

  1. Ask your neighbors to watch over your farm or ranch if you are gone.
  2. Brand cattle - make sure the brand is registered by the Missouri Department of Agriculture.
  3. Count livestock on a regular basis.
  4. Do not establish a routine when feeding. Vary the time when you feed and don’t feed in pens.
  5. Do not build pens close to a roadway.
  6. Lock gates.
  7. Do not leave equipment or trailers in view from a road.
  8. Do not leave keys in equipment.
  9. Create a proof of ownership file with detailed descriptions, photos, and corresponding paper work.
  10. Display Missouri Cattlemen’s Association member reward signs on gates and entrances.

The MCA reward signs were developed to help deter cattle theft. The reward fund offers $5,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of individuals committing felony cattle theft against members of the Missouri Cattlemen’s Association. Reward signs are available free of charge to all MCA members.

"By offering a reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of people who commit felony cattle theft against out members we hope to not only deter theft but also to increase the chance someone will step forward and report details leading to the recovery of the cattle when theft does occur," said Merrel Breyer, executive vice president of the Missouri Cattlemen’s Association.

MAC has been tremendously helpful in recovering stolen cattle and property. However, we hope producers will take extra precautions on their own farms and ranches to prevent theft from occurring.

Cattle producers encouraged to take precautions to stop cattle theft

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