Protecting your horse--Brands and Microchips?
I actually tried to post this yesterday but my browser crashed and I lost it all...so forgive me if I'm a little less eloquent than I try to be normally.
Ok, so with the advent of horse slaughterhouses reappearing in the United States comes the worry of horse theft, and your horse being sold for meat. I have had this discussion with my barn owner...before this came up, and was of the opinion that since my girl is grade and not exactly the equine Helen of Troy, that I wouldn't have a problem with someone getting sticky fingers with her. She argued that if an animal is well trained and good tempered it might get stolen anyway. Now that the meat industry may be back in business....there is a new fear.
So I considered microchips. Having read this forum though, they seem to have their flaws. I believe that not all of them work with the same scanners/registries, and that they can migrate.
So the second option is branding. I personally do not like the way it looks, and the idea of marring my horse makes me very unhappy...but so does the potential alternative of losing her. She is a plain sorrel draft cross...no unique markings, nothing that would scream out to anyone if I had to post milk carton ads.
1) Is branding the best thing to do to avoid your horse being permanently lost to you?
2) Can anyone get a brand? If so, how do you get a brand?
I see that there appears to be some sort of registry that you pay yearly for within PA, would you just re-register in another state if you moved?
3) Assuming 1 and 2, how do you design a brand and make it yours? *scratches head*
All of this seems like a horrible pain, but once it's over, I imagine it would make it harder to lose your horse. I prefer the microchip, but if it would be ineffective due to migration or scanner issues...I'd rather not lose my girl.
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bump...I'd love someone with knowledge to provide some insight.
In virginia you design a brand then send in a pic with a form you can download from he state dept of Ag with a $15 dollar fee. If the brand isnt being used it is yours for a certain number of years. You can then renew. The cost is pretty low. I would assume other states are low.
Microchips can prove a horse is yours if you find it, but so can a registered brand. A brand can be seen from a road.
The slaughter industry isnt back, it has always been here. They just got shipped to mexico and canada. Pretty much same numbers of horses. I dont see an up swing in horse thieve coming. SOmething I have found that may be useful is a GPS tracker. I see them for dogs, look at hunting places like Cabelas. You put a small box on the halter, and then go online set a perimeter, if the animal gets outside the area you define, you get a phone call or text message alert. You can go online and get a map of where it is. Basicaly lojack for a horse.
I admit a thief that sees the box can simply take it off, but I imagine thieves are gonna grab a horse by the halter, run it into a truck and drive awayh without doing much looking. The instant text as soon as the horse leaves your property may be enough to catch the perp in action.
its teh same for NM myou pick 3 brands you like, fill out the form and send it in to the state something or other. once they approve it you just make ur brand and slap it on. and update your coggins and registration of your animals of course. i personally had all my horses microchipped since i take them to competitions across state lines all the time. but branding is just as effective. the only difference is noboby can alter your chip, somebody can alter a brand.
Guess I'll stick to microchip...and hope no one takes a fancy to my horse.
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