Agriculture
6:00 am
Mon August 4, 2014

High Beef Prices Could Increase Cattle Theft

With beef prices at historic highs, cattle theft crimes are up. The Oregon Department of Agriculture is warning ranchers to be extra attentive to their herds this summer.

Cattle grazing in Marion County
Cattle grazing in Marion County
Credit commons.wikimedia.org

Farmers are encouraged to frequently update their records for their herd numbers. ODF spokesman Rodger Hoffman manages the Animal Identification Program. He's worried high beef prices will be seen as an attraction to criminals.

Hoffman: “The transport is certainly easier and faster with the modern vehicles, but more importantly, the ability to market those animals through the internet– craigslist and such things like that is the thing that makes us quite nervous.”

Hoffman says the spike in food costs could drive those in need to shoot livestock and butcher it on the range for their own consumption. He says maintaining brands on animals is key to preventing a quick re-sale. Buyers need to have proof of ownership from the seller before completing a bill-of-sale transaction.

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