Alert CDFA Brand Inspector helps to initiate case
SACRAMENTO-A Tulare County man suspected of stealing cattle from his neighbors was arrested after a DNA sample from a calf matched samples from a nearby herd.
Jerry Baker of Woodlake is accused of stealing 11 cattle from neighbors over a three-year period. The animals’ total market value is around $7,000.
An alert California Department of Food and Agriculture brand inspector is credited with triggering the investigation after discovering that a cow offered for sale by the suspect did not have the proper brand.
The DNA testing was conducted at U.C. Davis using strands of tail hair from several animals, including the calf. The arrest was a cooperative effort between the Tulare County Sheriff’s Department Agriculture Task Force and the Tulare County District Attorney’s office.
“Cattle rustling is a serious threat to California ranchers,” said CDFA Secretary William (Bill) J. Lyons, Jr. “Our brand inspectors do excellent, often unsung work to protect herds around the state. My congratulations to all involved for a job well done in this case.”
Cattle rustling is a felony offense in California. The suspect faces the possibility of a prison term plus a fine and restitution to victims.
California Department of Food and Agriculture Office of Public Affairs
1220 N St., Ste. 214, Sacramento, CA 95814