Cattle rustlers and horse thieves didn't go away with the Old West. They're still around today. Recent horse thefts in Red River and Desoto parishes have prompted Agriculture and Forestry Commissioner Mike Strain to urge area residents to permanently identify their livestock.In the days of the Old West, that was generally done by branding -- but Strain says now livestock can also be tattooed or even have a microchip implant. He says that makes lost or stolen cattle and horses much more likely to be recovered and reunited with their owners.

State Animal Health and Food Safety regulations require horses more than one year old to have permanent identification such as a brand, tattoo, or microchip implant. State law also requires that an ownership identification brand used on livestock must be registered with the Livestock Brand Commission.