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Microchips Help Prevent Saddle Thefts
Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry Commissioner Mike Strain says saddles are a regular target of thieves, especially in the southern states. Some people might be surprised at how much a saddle is worth. “If you’re a working rancher riding a horse, your life and safety depend on that saddle when you’re doing things like roping calves,” Strain says. “Custom saddles can be worth as much as $10,000.”
  Used saddles can be worth $500 to $1,000.
  The problem has gotten so bad that the Louisiana Ag Department is using technology to help solve the problem. They’ve begun microchipping saddles as a theft deterrent.
  “Louisiana residents can bring their saddles to a central location, fill out a form, and we’ll put their information into a database,” he says. “That information is also made available to officials in other states, so if their saddles get stolen, the chances increase that it gets recovered.
  “People have been stealing saddles almost since the moment we began riding horses,” he says. “When a farmer isn’t on their property, people will drive right into the yard, break into a horse barn or trailer, and swipe that saddle and other valuables they find.
  Microchipping a saddle doesn’t take long. Strain says they put the chip in the saddle in an undisclosed location and apply some epoxy to seal it in so it’s invisible to the naked eye.
  The microchipping program is working so well that the Ag Department is looking at ways to prevent other valuable farm items from getting stolen.
  While he says there are likely other states that do some type of tracking with farm items, Strain says there doesn’t seem to be any other rural state using microchips to track saddles. He’s hopeful that other states will follow Louisiana’s lead.
  Strain says they don’t charge horse owners to microchip their saddles.
  Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Megan Moore, Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry, 5825 Florida Boulevard, Baton Rouge, La. 70806 (ph 866-927-2476; commissioner@ldaf.state.la.us; www.ldaf.state.la.us).

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2022 - Volume #46, Issue #5