In Texas, if a livestock owner uses brands, earmarks, tattoos, or electronic devices to mark their cattle, hogs, sheep, goats, or horses, they must register the brands with the county clerk. See Texas Agric. Code Sections 144.001; 144.041. Brands must be registered at the county clerk’s office in any county where the livestock resides. See Texas Agric. Code Section 144.041. For example, if we have livestock both in Carson County and in Gray County, we will need to ensure that our brand is registered at both of those county clerk’s offices. The registration will require identifying the brand itself, along with the location where the brand or other identifying information is placed on the animal. See Texas Agric. Code Section 144.042.
Every ten years, all livestock & horse brands throughout the state expire. This is pursuant to Texas Agriculture Code Section 144.044. The next expiration will be next week, August 31, 2021. This means that all livestock brands registered in Texas will expire next week and must be renewed.
Brand holders will have six months, through February 28, 2022, to renew their brand registration in each county where they have livestock. See Texas Agric. Code Section 144.044. If they fail to renew their registration in that timeframe, then the brand will essentially be up for grabs and anyone will be able to select and register the brand in his or her own name. See Texas Agric. Code Section 144.044.
There may be different procedures for the renewal at different county clerk’s offices, so brand holders should contact the applicable offices to find out the best way to complete the renewal of the registration. Fees for the renewal also vary by county. To find the contact information for your county clerk, click here. Once producers renew their brands between now and February 28, 2022, they will be in place until August 30, 2031.
The use of a brand or mark that is not registered with the county clerk will constitute a misdemeanor offense punishable by a fine up to $500. See Texas Agric. Code Section 144.121.