Cattle rustling is on the rise, thanks to high cattle prices and the spread of heroin and meth to rural areas. Is your ranch protected against theft?
If I give you some white powder and you give me money, we have made a business deal. If you are so stupid as to stick it up your nose, well that is your problem. If you are so stupid as to stick so much of it up your nose you croak, well you were probably packing genes that don’t belong in the pool in the first place.
There will always be drugs and drug users no matter how many laws you pass. Call off the so-called “War on Drugs” (which was never designed to be won because of the pork in the barrel) and the problem would self-solve as if by magic.
I’ve been researching various brands of calving barn cameras in preparation of the upcoming calving season and had an interesting discussion with a local security company, OnSight 24/7, that specializes in agricultural cameras, particularly calving barn cameras to help ranchers during the long and tedious calving season. In our conversation, OnSight 24/7 owner Brian Price shared with me the many other uses for his security cameras, ranging from hunting lodges, to feedlots, to grain elevators, to livestock auction markets.
A story that Price shared with me points out why security cameras could be an important improvement to your ranch security. Cameras installed at a local feedlot and sale barn were able to connect the dots of a cattle theft where the thief walked away with close to $50,000.
It’s hard to believe that a theft on a scale that grand happens in small, rural communities, but it appears cattle rustling is on the rise again on ranches across the U.S. For example, in Oklahoma, an estimated 2,500-3,000 head of cattle were reported stolen in 2014, and in Texas, that number totals to slightly more than 3,900, according to an article by Jon Heskovitz and Heide Brandes for Reuters.
According to the article, “The recent rise in rustling is driven by the spread of heroin and methamphetamines to rural areas, an issue that has dogged states across the nation. In Oklahoma and neighboring Texas, lonesome cattle grazing on thousand-acre ranches that can fetch about $1,000 to $3,000 at market are proving to be easy targets for rustlers on the down and out. Among Oklahoma cattle thieves, about 75% are doing so to feed addictions, most often to methamphetamines, says Jerry Flowers, a retired Oklahoma City police detective and the state’s top ‘cattle cop.’”
In an article appearing on smithsonian.com, Larry Gray, executive director of law enforcement and theft prevention for the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association, says, “But cattle are at record levels as far as the prices go. That makes it very attractive to a thief to steal a load of cattle.”
With an increasing number of cattle rustling cases reported in the media, have you thought much about how to better secure your ranch against thieves? What kind of identification system do you use on your cattle? Share your protective measures in the comments section below.
The opinions of Amanda Radke are not necessarily those of beefmagazine.com or Penton Agriculture.
Murray N. Rothbard was the father of what some call Radical Libertarianism or Anarcho-Capitalism which Hans-Hermann Hoppe described as “Rothbard’s unique contribution to the rediscovery of property and property rights as the common foundation of both economics and political philosophy, and the systematic reconstruction and conceptual integration of modern, marginalist economics and natural-law political philosophy into a unified moral science: libertarianism.”
This book applies the principles of this “unified moral science” to environmental and natural resource management issues.
The book started out life as an assigned reading list for a university level course entitled Environmental and Natural Resource Economics: The Austrian View.
As I began to prepare to teach the course, I quickly saw that there was a plethora of textbooks suitable for universal level courses dealing with environmental and natural resource economics. The only problem was that they were all based in mainstream neo-classical (or Keynesian) theory. I could find no single collection of material comprising a comprehensive treatment of environmental and natural resource economics based on Austrian Economic Theory.
However, I was able to find a large number of essays, monographs, papers delivered at professional meetings and published from a multitude of sources. This book is the result. It is composed of a collection of research reports and essays by reputable scientists, economists, and legal experts as well as private property and free market activists.
The book is organized into seven parts: I. Environmentalism: The New State Religion; II. The New State Religion Debunked; III. Introduction to Environmental and Natural Resource Economics; IV. Interventionism: Law and Regulation; V. Pollution and Recycling; VI. Property Rights: Planning, Zoning and Eminent Domain; and VII. Free Market Conservation. It also includes an elaborate Bibliography, References and Recommended Reading section including an extensive Annotated Bibliography of related and works on the subject.
The intellectual level of the individual works ranges from quite scholarly to informed editorial opinion.