JACKSON, Mississippi — Agents of the Mississippi Agricultural and Livestock Theft Bureau arrested two Pickens men Feb.10 on cattle rustling charges.
The Agricultural and Livestock Theft Bureau (MALTB), the law enforcement division of the Mississippi Department of Agriculture and Commerce, said it anticipates additional arrests and charges in the future.
Lead MALTB Investigator Mike McGowan, with assistance from the sheriff’s departments of Holmes and Yazoo counties, arrested Terrance Deon Wade and Deonvick Adams, both of Pickens, in the theft of 10 head of cattle in Yazoo County.
Agriculture Commissioner Cindy Hyde-Smith urged all livestock owners to brand their livestock for identification purposes for instances such as this. “With the temptation of higher cattle prices, criminals look for easy targets such as unbranded and unmonitored livestock for possible theft and resale,” she said. “By branding their livestock, farmers help provide a future deterrent against theft.”
Jeff Stewart, director of MALTB, says livestock theft is still a problem in Mississippi and noted another recent case his office completed that involved the theft and further arrest of five suspects in the theft of 91 head of cattle. He added that a brand can be considered a serial number for livestock and a good insurance policy for livestock owners against theft.
The Bureau also handles the registration of all livestock brands in the state. The cost to register a brand is $5 for a period of 5 years. To report or provide information regarding an agricultural crime, call (800) 678-2660.