Re-register Texas cattle brands, marks, tattoos by Feb. 28

By Julie Tomascik

The deadline to re-register Texas livestock and equine brands, marks and tattoos is fast approaching. Brand owners have until Feb. 28 to complete the re-registration process.

“Even if the brand has been in your family for generations, it must be re-registered,” Tracy Tomascik, TFB associate director of Commodity and Regulatory Activities, said. “It’s important to take care of this re-registration process prior to Feb. 28. The registration is good for 10 years and will expire Aug. 30, 2031.”

Any previously recorded brands, marks and tattoos that have not been re-registered by the deadline will be considered unclaimed and eligible for registration by another.

Brands are registered through the county clerk’s office. Some offices are participating in an online re-registration program. It is best to contact the county clerk to see if the county is participating.

Brand applications and renewals require a drawing of the brand that notes the location on the animal.

“The brand location is just as important as the brand,” Tomascik said. “The same brand can be registered in the same county, but only if the location on the animal is different. That’s why including the right location on the application is extremely important.”

Although Texas does not have a statewide brand registry database, the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers (TSCRA) keeps a centralized database for the association’s law enforcement purposes.

TSCRA Special Rangers investigate thefts of cattle and horses, among other items. They also inspect livestock to determine ownership and prevent theft after a natural disaster. They help determine the ownership of stray livestock, too.

Brands may be transferred, but this requires a notarized affidavit signed by the current brand holder that relinquishes the title of the brand to the transferee. Brand transfers must be sent to TSCRA.

If the owner passes away and the heir wants to register the brand, the heir must provide proof of will or family agreement along with the death certificate.

It is not mandatory to brand livestock or horses in Texas. However, if livestock are branded, it is mandatory to register the brand with the county clerk. Failure to do so is considered a misdemeanor and is punishable by a fine up to $500.

Pursuant to the Texas Agricultural Code 144.041, all brands, marks and tattoos expired Aug. 30, 2021.

For more details, view these frequently asked questions or call 1-800-242-7820 to speak with the TSCRA Brand and Inspection Department.

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