With the recent challenging economy, there has been a substantial increase in cattle theft, especially in rural areas. The presence of valuable animals, often out of sight of their owners, is an attractive target for thieves looking to score a quick buck. Bayer Animal Health recognized the scope of the problem and asked an online news service, Cattlenetwork, to assist them in developing CattleWatch.
“Many key states address cattle theft through law enforcement and cattle associations,” said Todd Firkins, Livestock Category manager for Bayer Animal Health. “One of the challenges with our system is the breakdown that can occur in national communication. That’s where CattleWatch comes into play. The idea came to fruition to assist cattlemen across the country in addressing this important issue.”
CattleWatch is a program designed to assist in the national notification and communication of cattle thefts and indictments. It also serves as a resource center to help cattlemen prevent theft.
A review of recent news shows how urgent the need is for CattleWatch. Just in the past few weeks, Texas & Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association’s Special Rangers made multiple cattle arrests in Trinity County and helped indict a Haskell man on two felony charges. Felony charges were also filed in a case involving the theft of 48 cattle in Missouri. A Houston man and woman were indicted on eight counts of cattle theft and the Border Patrol in Arizona halted an attempt at cattle theft.
“As cattle become increasingly transportable, tracing interstate transportation of stolen cattle becomes more difficult. CattleWatch is an online tool designed to be a central repository to alert people from Texas to North Dakota to be on the lookout for stolen cattle,” said Firkins.
Speaking for Cattlenetwork, Rob Cook said the system will be on line “24/7” and notices of thefts will include as much information as possible. “Because we know time is a critical factor here, we want to make it easy for people to quickly spot stolen cattle and notify the proper authorities immediately.”
Cattlenetwork is owned by the same parent company as Dairy Herd Management.
“We’ll back up CattleWatch with posters and brochures that will be available to livestock auctions and other places where cattlemen gather,” said Firkins. “This is a project that we think will really help cattlemen put a stop to theft.”
For more information see www.cattlewatch.com.