Branding may help deter cattle thefts in SW Missouri

Hundreds of cattle owners in southwest Missouri turned up for a recent demonstration on cattle branding, which officials say may help deal with the recent upsurge in cattle thefts.

Lawrence County Sheriff Brad DeLay says a spate of cattle thefts across southwest Missouri in recent weeks has subsided. But officials estimate that up to 200 head of cattle have been stolen in the past two years in southwest Missouri, creating a potential loss of $200,000. The most recent theft was reported about a month ago in Greene County.

The Joplin Globe reports ( ) that the demonstration was staged by the University of Missouri Extension office in Lawrence County, the Southwest Missouri Cattlemen's Association and area sheriffs' departments because branding remains a good way to identify the ownership of cattle.