Authorities investigate rise in cattle theft
By Christine Souza
California Farm Bureau
John Suther of the CDFA Bureau of Livestock Identification, Eric Fennell of the Kern County Sheriff’s Department Rural Crime Investigation Unit and Danny Ritchea of the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department discuss incidences of missing cattle reported across the state.
Fences, brands and ear tags do not seem to deter some modern-day cattle rustlers. In fact, in the last six months the state has seen close to a 40-percent increase in missing cattle over the same period of time from 2006. The widespread problem of cattle rustling has been reported from as far as Modoc County in the north, to San Bernardino County in the south, and many counties in between.
“This has been devastating for us. We’ve lost small cattle and large cattle,” said San Luis Obispo County rancher John Lacey, a cattle theft victim. “It has been one of those frustrating things and we need to get on it. I wouldn’t leave any stone unturned.”