Missing and stolen cattle numbers down in SLV

Brand Inspector Deb Vernon discusses the number of missing or stolen cattle for 2018 with local producers at the Centauri Middle/High School band room on Thursday night./Courier photo by Helen Smith

LA JARA-The number of missing or stolen cattle in the San Luis Valley was significantly lower for 2018. Deb Vernon, brand inspector for the State of Colorado, shared an update on the current status of Valley’s cattle situation with local producers on Thursday night.

Thanks to the partnership of area brand Inspectors with the Colorado State Patrol, the number of missing cattle went from 294 in 2017 to 40 for 2018. The only other incidents recorded took place in Alamosa and Rio Grande Counties. The most incidents occurred in Conejos County with 32 missing. 

Chad Cochran, president of the San Luis Valley Cattleman’s Association, noted that owners are also keeping a better eye on herd numbers. Another factor for loss is when herds are taken to mountain pastures where there are other variables such as predators and lightning strikes.

Colorado and New Mexico brand inspectors have also been working together successfully. Vernon noted that the collaboration efforts with law enforcement will continue as they seem to be working thus far. Producers are grateful that the numbers have gone down.