Once every decade, Texans are required to renew their livestock brands, and the deadline to renew is fast approaching.
“The current brands are expiring on Aug. 31, 2021. So starting Sept. 1, everyone who has a cattle brand needs to begin the renewal process. If they don’t renew the brands by Feb. 28, 2022, then those brands become public domain and other people can file for ownership of those brands,” said Liberty County Clerk Lee Chambers.
Once the brands are re-registered, they will not expire again until Aug. 30, 2031.
With Texas’ rich history built on ranching and farming, it comes as no surprise that Liberty County has nearly 1,000 registered cattle brands, roughly 1 percent of the state’s 100,000 livestock brands that are registered among residents in the 254 Texas counties. The brands were once the favored way of identifying cattle; however, some ranchers now opt for ear tags.
Brands are used as proof of ownership, help identify estray or stolen cattle, and assist law enforcement with criminal investigations. Brands also are used to trace animal diseases and prevent outbreaks.
“Some people have brands that have been handed down for generations. People can inherit their family brands just like any other asset,” Chambers said. “Regardless if it’s a brand you created or one you inherited, it has to be renewed.”
The cost of renewal is $26 per brand. Additional costs apply if the brand needs to be used on multiple species of animals or on varying locations of the animals such as hips, flanks, jaws and shoulders.
While the application forms may be found on the County Clerk’s records management website, https://libertycountytx-web.tylerhost.net/web/, drawing the brand on the form using a mouse or electronic device might be tricky for most people, which is why Chambers is advising residents to file their brands in person at the county courthouse.
“You can draw it out for us when you come in or bring it along with you and we will scan it into our system,” Chambers said.
The Liberty County Clerk’s Office has two locations to serve residents: the County Courthouse, 1923 Sam Houston St., Liberty, and the County Annex, 304 Campbell St., Cleveland. For more information, call 936-336-4670.
To search for cattle brands throughout Texas, go to the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association’s website at http://www.tscrabrands.com/default.aspx.