Farmers commonly dispute over livestock ownership.
Some disputes are legitimate. Your livestock got out of its pen and looks just like your neighbors. So, naturally, they place it back in THEIR pens.
Other disputes are simply a result of theft and bad people. You have something I want, so I am going to take it.
Most of the items that you would do to keep others from saying your animals are theirs can also be used to prove ownership in court.
To reduce the chance that there will be disputes, and to win any disputes against you, follow some simple tips.
Tag each head of livestock so it is known that it is yours. Even if your animals look the same, having a good tag or brand will help others identify that you own that one. This will cut down on confusion.
Keep an up-to-date ledger of your livestock and food consumption to prove numbers. All you are doing is leaving a good paper trail of your purchases, sales, and other metrics that you should be analysing anyway. If a good judge sees all this information, you just became the most believable person in the room.
Keep game cameras set up at all entrances for evidence of theft. Sometimes, you just can’t stop thieves, so you have to catch them.
Become friends with the other farmers. They will be less likely to steal from or sue a friend. Think about it, do you really want to sue someone that has always been good to you, helped you when you needed it, and was always friendly?
If you make sure that everyone knows that the animal is yours, then the only people you have to worry about are true thieves. You can’t stop those people from trying, but having a good system set up, you can catch them, ruining their reputation in the future.
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