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Mon Apr 12, 2021, 12:27 AM

Arizona Is A Cow Thief's Paradise

The brand laws in Arizona and the enforcement of them have collapsed. In the last several years, close to 3000 head of cattle have been stolen from at least 32 individuals. These are conservative numbers. The most recent and noted being the loss of over 400 cows, plus calves and bulls, from noted cowboy Milo Dewitt in Santa Cruz County, as well as an undetermined number from Robert Noon also in Santa Cruz County, and well over a hundred cows with calves from well-known attorney and judge, Tom Kelly, in Yavapai County.

The case of Milo’s missing cattle is a classic example of how these cases are being handled, or not being handled, depending on how you choose to describe them. Milo was told by an independent investigator who is assisting him in the investigation to file a complaint with the Santa Cruz County sheriff’s office. Deputy Pablo Camacho wrote the report. Since then Milo has phoned the sheriff’s office numerous times requesting information, but he has not been able to get any information from them. He also notified Ron Hirsch, the local livestock brand inspector for the state of Arizona who is an employee of the Arizona Department of Agriculture (AZDA). Ron filed a report. Then Milo, on February 24, drove to Casa Grande to meet with Manny Angulo the chief investigator for the Office of Special Investigations for the Department of Agriculture. At this meeting the investigator admitted to Milo that they were not working on the case. Apparently the sheriff’s office isn’t either.

There are good reasons for this collapse of the Arizona brand department and the increase of cattle theft. Some of these reasons are obvious while others are subtle. Here are some comparisons of the obvious: In 1984 there were 50 brand inspectors statewide, many of whom were old cowboys who knew what they were looking at. Onsite visual inspections were required by law for all cattle sales and movement out of state. Today much has changed. According to the AZDA website: “When fully staffed Animal Services Division of the Department of Agriculture employs 20 livestock services field staff throughout the state of Arizona. Of this amount, 9 are fulltime AZPOST certified officers, 6 are fulltime inspectors, and 5 are part-time inspectors”. I was recently told they are not fully staffed.

Let’s look at some comparisons with other states. Currently in Wyoming, there are 78 brand inspectors listed on the department’s website. Any cattle that are sold at the ranch or transported across county lines are required to have an onsite inspection by a state inspector. All cattle leaving a feedlot are required to have an onsite inspection. There are no self-inspection books.

Read more: https://arizonadailyindependent.com/arizona-is-a-cow-thiefs-paradise/


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Reply Arizona Is A Cow Thief's Paradise (Original post)
TexasTowelie Apr 12 OP
Kali Apr 12 #1

Response to TexasTowelie (Original post)

Mon Apr 12, 2021, 01:36 AM

1. "In 1984 there were 50 brand inspectors statewide,

many of whom were old cowboys who knew what they were looking at." yep, the kids now can't even read a brand from the brand book, much less an imperfect one on a moving animal.

but while the lack of inspectors or investigators is part of the problem, the main one is ranchers not being full time, not checking on their animals every day or two.

the author of the article is a bit of wing nut, though he does have some real ranch and rodeo experience.

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