November 15, 2012

Online Directory of Missouri Brands Makes Livestock Identification Easier, More Accurate

Awareness may also deter theft, as brands are a permanent mark showing ownership

The Missouri Department of Agriculture's directory of more than 6,400 unique livestock brands is now available online at The new, electronic version of the Missouri Brand Book features an easy-to-use search tool that allows users, including law enforcement and market professionals, to look up brands by the owner's name or location, as well as the counties in which the brand is used, the brand's position on an animal and the letters and numbers comprising the brand.

"We have the capability to bring more resources to more Missourians through, and in these challenging times it is more important than ever that we ensure our producers have the information they need when they need it," said Director of Agriculture Dr. Jon Hagler. "The Missouri Brand Book is also an important tool for law enforcement when they're presented with stolen or lost livestock, and the directory's new searchable, electronic format will only make that resource more valuable."

The new electronic directory is continuously updated as brand registration applications and renewals are received, ensuring that Missourians have the most accurate, complete information available at all times. In addition to the list of more than 4,600 active brands, the electronic directory also includes those which may have become inactive or are on hold as an individual completes the registration or renewal process.

The Missouri Department of Agriculture began registering livestock brands in 1971 as a result of legislation that eventually became Missouri's current Marks and Brands of Animals Law. Prior to that legislation, brands were registered by counties.

A brand is a permanent mark showing ownership of livestock, such as cattle, and must be registered with the Missouri Department of Agriculture. It is illegal to brand livestock in Missouri without also registering the brand with the state. It is also illegal to deface or alter a brand, and individuals wishing to sell a branded animal may be asked to provide proof of ownership of the brand and/or a bill of sale transferring ownership of the animal.

Brands must be renewed every five years, and a brand that is not renewed may not be registered to another individual for at least five years. For more information about registering or renewing a brand, or to download a copy of the official Application for Brand Registration, visit the Livestock and Animals section of

Copies of the Missouri Brand Book will continue to be available upon request. Individuals interested in obtaining a copy should contact the Missouri Department of Agriculture at or (573) 751-3377.

For more information about the Missouri Department of Agriculture and its programs, visit