Starting next year, thieves caught trying to pinch a wide variety of livestock will face increased penalties and longer jail sentences. On Monday, Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law a bill authored by local Assemblyman Frank Bigelow, R-District 5.
On Jan. 1, Assembly Bill 924 will amend California grand-theft laws to establish a fine of up to $5,000 for anyone convicted of rustling livestock, including cattle, horses, mules, lambs, hogs, and other species.
Proceeds from the fines will go to the California Department of Food and Agriculture’s Bureau of Livestock Identification (BLID) to investigate open cases and prevent future thefts.
The BLID reported 1,100 stolen cattle in 2012 at a loss of nearly $1 million to ranchers across the state...