Oregon Ranches Prepare for Possibility of Thieves Due to High Beef Prices
PENDLETON, Ore. - The Washington state Department of Agriculture says ranchers in Oregon need to be extra vigilant this summer because high cattle prices are likely to attract thieves.
The agency says they anticipate ranchers will report 400 to 500 missing livestock this year. 20 percent of those missing animals may be determined as stolen. Other types of losses could stem from disease, predator attack, and weather.
In some cases, market prices for cattle are more than twice the average of just a couple years ago. The drought has whittled the cattle herd across the nation but demand for beef remains strong.
The agency says ranchers should pay special attention to cattle released onto vast range land or up in the Blue Mountains. It also helps to brand livestock in case stolen animals are recovered.