Tag Archives: cattle

Cattle Thieves Put On Notice

31 May

Posted: May 30, 2011 6:50 PM by Associated Press

Investigators have begun alerting Missouri sale barns about stolen livestock that may turn up at their auctions in an attempt to stifle a lucrative rustling trade.

The Missouri State Highway Patrol said it began sending the alerts to the sale barns in the spring, providing the businesses with descriptions of the stolen animals.

“We approached them from a networking, partnership point of view,” said Maria Furey, a criminal intelligent analyst for the Patrol’s rural crimes investigative unit. “Most of them, pretty much all of them, are accommodating because they don’t like the idea of potentially selling stolen livestock either.”

The St. Joseph News-Press reports that livestock, especially cattle, are an easy target for thieves and can be sold at reputable sale barns without the owner’s knowledge unless proper precautions are in place.

“The thing I hear about the auctions is they’re so incredibly fast-paced and they can be almost chaotic, in a rhapsody kind of way. A complete controlled chaos,” Furey said.

The alerts allow sale barn owners to identify stolen livestock before they’re put on the auction block. Jeff Windett, executive vice president of the Missouri Cattleman’s Association, said the effort has been successful so far.

Most stolen livestock are sold within 100 miles of the theft location, so emphasis in the alerts is placed on livestock stolen within their particular region. The Patrol’s rural crimes division has six regions in the state.

Not all stolen livestock are sold through sale barns, Furey said, and not all sale barns are negligent in making illegal sales.

Mark Servaes, manager of the St. Joseph Stockyards, said his business takes many measures to make sure its selling legitimate, healthy livestock. He said the company checks the identification of sellers and allows only those it is familiar with or who come with a reputable reference to sell livestock there.

“We’re pretty tough security at our place,” Servaes said. “If someone has a reputation that could be a little bit off the record, we just don’t invite them to sell at our place. So that keeps most of those doors unopened for us to get some of those stolen cattle, because they know we’re going to look for something. Other places will invite them to make a dollar off them, but we don’t do that.”

Farmers are asked to diligently keep track of their livestock so they can provide accurate descriptions for the alerts. That includes keeping regular inventory of their herds and being able to describe the color, size and tags of the animals.

“We need to have concrete, identifiable attributes,” Furey said. “That’s the best way to put out an alert, so that people who are trying to help know what to look for.”

Information from: St. Joseph News-Press, http://www.stjoenews-press.com

Federal Budget Cuts

7 Mar

Hard-fought-for laws and regulations to save lives and the environment will be gutted or eliminated in budget cuts passed by the Republican-controlled U.S. House of Representatives or ordered by President Barack Obama’s team, experts say.

One cut would include The U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Food and Drug Administration. Neither agency was spared from debilitating cuts, experts say, threatening the safety of he nation’s food supply and preventing the agencies from even doing specifically what Congress and the Obama White House had demanded.

Obama’s budget did not grant additional funds requested to meet White House and congressional demands to assure the safety of meats and monitor foreign-produced food arriving at our ports. Programs for federal meat inspection, international food safety inspection and state food safety inspection were hit hard, for safety experts said.

“We are cutting programs not because we want to, but because we have to,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, who then added, “American families have been forced to tighten their belts, and government must do the same.”

Food safety advocates say the cuts will endanger the food supply.

Patty Lovera, assistant director of Food & Water Watch, said that the cuts make no sense and points to an expected 500 million-pound increase in the amount of beef and poultry slaughtered this year.

“The president cuts the resources for meat inspection, even while admitting that USDA inspectors will have an increased amount of meat and poultry to inspect next year. It also fails to give the FDA enough resources to put the newly passed food safety reform bill into effect on schedule,” she said.

USDA rules say that meat cannot be released for market without the presence of a USDA inspector.

Without the funding, the agency has no plans to supplement the number of inspectors in these processing plants to meet to higher volume of meat.

This means that the speed of slaughter lines will increase, as will pressure on already overworked inspectors. The obvious result is the likelihood of bad meat and poultry showing up in groceries and butcher shops, said Wenonah Hauter, Food & Water Watch’s executive director.

A few more cuts that could effect the Ozarks…