Branding every year is a tradition on most livestock operations. But another tradition of sorts takes place with those branding marks — every 10 years they must be registered with the county clerk where they are used.
Pursuant to Texas Agriculture Code Section 144.044, every 10 years, all livestock and horse brands throughout the state expire. The current registrations will expire Aug 31, and will require action within the next six months.
If a livestock owner uses brands, earmarks, tattoos or electronic devices to mark their cattle, hogs, sheep, goats or horses, they must register the brands with the county clerk, said Tiffany Dowell Lashmet, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service agricultural law specialist, Amarillo.
“This is an important detail for brand holders not to overlook,” Lashmet said.
Head to the county clerk’s office
All livestock brands must be registered at the county clerk’s office in every county where the owner has livestock, according to Texas Agriculture Code. The registration will require identifying the brand itself, along with the location where the brand or other identifying information is placed on the animal.
Brand holders will have a six-month period, through Feb. 28, to renew their brand registration in each county where they have livestock, Lashmet said. If they fail to renew their registration in that time frame, then the brand will essentially be up for grabs, and anyone will be able to select and register the brand in his or her name.
There may be different procedures for the renewal at different county clerk’s offices, so brand holders should contact the applicable offices to find out the best way to complete the renewal of the registration. Fees for the renewal also vary by county, and more information can be obtained from county clerks across the state.
Once producers renew their brands, the brands will be in place until Aug. 30, 2031. The use of a brand or mark that is not registered with the county clerk will constitute a misdemeanor offense punishable by a fine up to $500, according to the Texas Agriculture Code.